The government will offer at least 56 oil and gas blocks in the 10th round of bidding under its New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) to be launched next week, Petroleum Secretary Vivek Rae said here on Monday.
Rae had earlier indicated Jan 15 as the launch date, for what is expected to be the largest offering of blocks since the start of NELP in 1999 in an effort to attract more investments into the exploration and production sector.
The ministry in its note to the cabinet has recommended revenue-sharing contracts with explorers in place of the current profit-sharing mechanism, Rae added.
NELP-IX offered a total of 34 blocks covering an area of about 88,807 square km and comprising eight deepwater blocks, seven shallow water blocks and 19 onland blocks.
Major Indian and international hydrocarbon players like BHP, ONGC, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petro Resources had participated in the NELP-IX.
Petroleum Minister M.Veerappa Moily had earlier said that after nine rounds of activity under NELP, about 80 percent area is yet to be explored extensively.