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Pradhan off to US, Canada to promote oilfield auction

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, July 15 - Even as protest continues in Assam over the Centre�s bid to auction the State�s 12 small oilfields, which are among 67 small oilfields to be auctioned, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has left for the United States of America and Canada to take part in road shows to auction off the oilfields.

Official sources here said that road shows will be held in Houston (USA) and Calgary (Canada) as part of process of promoting the Discovered Small Fields Bid Round 2016. The Houston road show was held today, while the Calgary road show will be held on July 18 and 19.

Sources said the Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas will launch the International Road Show for the 67 Discovered Small Fields (DSF) in Houston. During his visit to Washington he will meet his American counterpart, Secretary of Energy, Dr Ernest Jeffrey Moniz on July 18.

The 12 oilfields of Assam have a combined reserve of 23 million metric tonnes of oil and oil-equivalent gas.

The Discovered Small Fields bidding was launched in New Delhi on May 25. Subsequently, road shows for this round were held in Mumbai and Guwahati. Under this round, 67 DSF of ONGC and Oil India Limited (OIL), which could not be monetised during previous years, are being offered for international bidding. Progressive administrative and fiscal procedures have been introduced in this bidding process in sync with best international practices, said sources. A data room will be opened in office premises of ONGC Videsh Limited during the Houston road show.

Pradhan will be accompanied by Secretary, MoP&NG, senior officers and CMDs of ONGC, IOCL, GAIL, HPCL and MD-BPRL.

During Pradhan�s meeting with his US counterpart in Washington DC, issues of bilateral hydrocarbon cooperation will be reviewed. Pradhan will also hold interactions with various think-tanks working in hydrocarbon sector in Houston and Washington DC. He will also visit technology centres working in oil and gas spheres, sources added.

The decision to auction the 12 small oilfields of Assam has led to protests all over the State. Even AGP, which is BJP�s alliance partner, has opposed the decision and asked the Centre to reconsider the move.

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