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These oil blocks hold an investment of $2.71 billion and further investment to the extent of $1.9 billion will be made in the exploration activities in the next 3-5 years according to a statement released by the government of India on Monday.
“The clearances given by CCI will remove the uncertainty relating to these 31 blocks and energise oil and gas exploration activities in the country,” said the statement.
The Indian government is expecting a huge investment boost in these blocks in the coming years based on the discovery of hydrocarbons.
In the fiscal year 2011-12, when oil consumption increased five per cent to 148 million tonnes, India imported 172 million tonnes of crude oil and produced 38 million tonnes, according to the Indian petroleum ministry’s economic division.
The 31 blocks where work had been stopped by the defence ministry included 13 of Reliance Industries-British Petroleum combine and 15 involved India’s state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.
For these blocks, the defence ministry had imposed stringent conditions like asking companies not to locate any pipelines or structures on sea surface in the blocks cleared for exploration and production activities.
M Veerappa Moily, India’s minister of petroleum and natural gas, in March this year, revealed that the ministry has formed a committee to “prepare a roadmap for enhancing domestic production of oil and gas and sustainable reduction in import dependency by 2030.”
With inputs from Agencies