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The Hindu (India): Cairn, Shell, BP among others to expand operations

New Delhi, March 29 (UNI): Top energy majors including Shell, BP, BG, Respol, BHP and Cairn have expressed their interest to expand their operations in Exploration and Production (E&P), distribution and marketing of natural gas, including city gas distribution network in India.
Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Murli Deora, is currently in London for a road-show to showcase the latest New Exploration Licence Policy (NELP-VI) blocks.
The Minister along with senior officers in the delegation had several meetings with E&P companies and service companies. The major E&P companies that had one-on-one meetings are BP, Shell, ENI, Petrobras, BG, Repsol, BHP and Cairn.
In the meeting held with BG, Deora explained the vast opportunities arising in oil and gas sector in India particularly in the form of this offer (NELP-VI).
In addition, the Minister referred to the speech of the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh last fortnight in which the Prime Minister had underlined the need for expanding CNG and PNG distribution network rapidly in all regions, cities and towns in India.
Deora also stated that the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) would be in place shortly. The company mentioned that they are already in India and are looking to expand their involvement in E&P sector and distribution and marketing of natural gas, including city gas distribution network.
They informed that ONGC and BG have already signed farm-out agreement for three deep-water blocks in Krishna Godavari basin.
The road show to promote recently launched 55 Oil and Gas Exploration Blocks under 6th round of NELP in London drew a big response from international companies.
As many as 82 international companies attended the Road Show. The major companies which participated include BP, Shell, Total, Statoil, Chevron, BG, Repsol, Cairn Energy, Woodside, Petrobras, Maersk, Devon, ENI, Burren, BHP, Ensearch, Goepetrol and Premier oil. Of the 82 participating companies, 38 prominent E&P companies from oil and gas sector were present.
Riding on the success of NELP-V, the Government announced the launch of global competitive offer of 55 exploration blocks, which include 24 deepwater blocks, 6 shallow water blocks and 25 onshore blocks.
This offer covers the highest ever acreage of 352 thousand sq km, nearly 12 per cent of the Indian sedimentary area.
In meetings with Petrobras, Deora invited the company to participate in NELP-VI. Petrobras informed that they have already signed an MoU with HPCL for participation in NELP-VI. BP in their meeting with the Indian delegation informed that they are already in India and are looking forward to expand their involvement in the E&P sector.
They are also discussing with ONGC to participate in the blocks held by ONGC, especially in deep-water area in Saurashtra Kutch.
The London Road Show spanned over two days — 27 and 28 March 2006 and comprised extensive and detailed presentations and one-on-one meetings with the companies.
The presentations, covered the geological potential of the blocks, liberal fiscal and contract terms, the experience sharing of working in Indian E&P sector by leading international and national companies (both private and public), presentations by industry associations and the merchant bankers and consultants.
The first road show was held in Delhi on March 10, while the next one would be held in Houston (US) on March 30 for NELP-VI and on March 31 for CBM-III.

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