India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and the demand for oil and gas is rising at a matching rate. The country is the fourth largest consumer of energy in the world. Not only is India’s market potential huge, but in recent years, India has emerged as one of the most prospective regions in the world with major oil and gas discoveries, both onshore and offshore. The Government has taken all possible steps to bring in healthy competition and public participation by way of the New Exploration and Licensing Policy (NELP).
The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas formulated New Exploration licensing Policy (NELP) in 1999 providing level playing field for all the investors and providing several concessions and incentives to attract investment and technology. Foreign and Indian private companies are invited to supplement the efforts of National Oil Companies in the discovery of hydrocarbons. It has not only accelerated the quest for hydrocarbon exploration, but has brought the state of the art technology to the country.
The development of E&P sector has been significantly boosted through this policy of Government of India, which brought major liberalization in the sector and opened up EnP for private and foreign investment, where 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is allowed. The Government of India has so far completed Nine rounds of offer of acreages under NELP where in 360 exploration blocks have been offered and 254 blocks have been awarded till 31.03.2013.
India, having the fourth largest proven coal reserves in the world, holds significant prospects for exploration and exploitation of CBM. The Government has already put in place the policy for the exploration and exploitation of Coal Bed Methane (CBM) and till date, four rounds of CBM bidding rounds have been implemented by MOPNG under the CBM policy resulting in award of 33 CBM blocks. At the same time, government is making efforts to diversify the fuel basket by increasing share of Natural Gas, Hydro and Nuclear energy. DGH has assisted the Government in framing the policy for Shale gas and oil.
At the backdrop of stable political regime, transparent policy incentives and liberal economic atmosphere India offers plethora of opportunities to prospective investor to exploit and develop its huge conventional and unconventional EnP resources.