India's Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry held a presentation of the next stage (the ninth) of the New Exploration Licensing Programme (NELP-IX) in Moscow on Monday. The Indian delegation was headed up by the Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Sri Jitin Prasada.
In his address, Mr. Prasada addressed an appeal to the representatives of Russian oil-and-gas and service companies to take part in the NELP-IX programme. He noted that the Indian government had created the most favourable conditions for investor income.
"The fact that over a period of a few decades, Soviet and Russian specialists have helped to establish the Indian oil-and-gas industry, guarantees an especially favourable relationship with Russian companies", Mr. Prasada remarked.
34 licensed blocks are put forward in the tender, from which 7 are deep-sea, 8 are shallow-water and 19 are located on dry land. Almost all of the proposed areas are located in the western part of India and on the western Indian continental shelf. Only four blocks are located in the Indian Ocean, to the east of India in the Andaman Islands region.
The Director General of the Directorate General for Hydrocarbons for the Indian Government, S. K. Srivastava, gave details concerning the geological construction of the proposed blocks and regarding the prospects for discovering reservoirs of oil and gas. At the same time, the Deputy Petroleum and Natural Gas minister, D.N. Narasimha Raju, told the guests about the innovations which the Indian government had made to the current investment programme. According to him, NELP-IX significantly simplifies the procedure for starting a project, and also provides for considerable investor preferences.
Aleksandr Nikiforov, head of Gazprom's Operator Project Office in India, spoke at the presentation. He talked of how Gazprom zarubezhneftegaz had gathered operational experience in India. Representatives of BP, the ONGC and the Confederation of Investors in India (CII) also talked about the investment climate for guests in the country.