Explained: Why India is doing away with auction of small oil and gas fields

Launching the third round of discovered small field (DSF) auctions, opening up 32 oil and gas blocks with 75 discoveries for global oil and gas majors on June 10, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said such fields will not be auctioned again.

“There will be no DSF next time. Next time, it will be a ‘major’ round (auction of large fields),” he said. In these upcoming major rounds, the government will auction unmonetized large oil and gas fields of state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India (OIL).

Moneycontrol looks into the importance of these auctions and what went wrong.

Vision around DSF

It was in 2016, the government decided to attract more private investors into India’s hydrocarbon exploration sector by putting the old, small and discovered oil and gas blocks of ONGC and OIL on the block. The event was considered as the entry point for India’s future oil and gas barons.

The ultimate aim of these rounds was to fast-track the target of reducing the country’s import dependency by 10 per cent. Authorities believed that these rounds would attract small players and start-ups also.

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