Quantum of the Reserve Being Offered is More than Double that of Last Time

 The government plans to launch by January-end the second round of auction of discovered small fields (DSF) in which, drawing lessons from the first round, fields will be grouped in bigger contract areas and deepwater fields will be left out. 
A total of 61 fields with reserve of about 180 million tonnes of oil and oil equivalent will be offered in this round, said an oil ministry official, who did not wish to be identified. 
In the first round, 67 fields, clubbed into 46 contract areas, with reserve of about 80 million tonnes of oil equivalent were offered, prompting many potential investors to complain about the unattractive size of fields. About 40 of the 67 fields were less than 25 square kilometres in area, nearly 20 less than 10 sq km, and one field was as small as 2.35 sq km. 
“This has been addressed in the second round. This time contract areas will be bigger than last time so that it’s attractive to bidders,” the official said, without revealing the number of contract areas. Besides, the quantum of the reserve being offered is more than double that of last time, he said. 
Another flexibility being offered this time is that a winner can ask for a licence to operate an idle adjacent field. The fields on offer this time include 22 fields relinquished by companies, which had won these in previous exploration auctions but didn’t develop, the official said. But deepwater fields that couldn’t be awarded in the first round of DSF auction due to lack of investor interest will not be offered in the second round. “Smaller players may not be interested in such difficult fiel. 
Deepwater fields require higher expertise and immense capital investment, which most potential bidders in DSF rounds are unlikely to be equipped with or inclined to undertake.