Indian companies will benefit from a new policy named Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) in 18 months, required to auction hydrocarbon assets for exploring oil and gas reserves. The new policy, an open acreage system, will be beneficial for the industry, as oil and gas blocks will be on offer throughout the year and not based on rounds, against the existing regime of the New Exploration and Licensing Policy (NELP).
In OALP, a database of all blocks that the government plans to offer for bidding will be made available in the public domain and hence any company that wishes to bid for a particular block can do so anytime during the year.
India's eighth round of auctions of oil exploration blocks, held in October 2009, received 76 bids for 36 of the 70 blocks on offer. The total committed investment was to the tune of $1.34 bn.