[Prelims Spotlight] New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP), Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP), CASSINI MISSION

Here are  Back2Basics collections from today’s news items

B2B #1: From news-Cabinet relaxes NELP, pre-NELP pact rules

New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP)

  1. New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) was conceptualized by the Government of India, during 1997-98 to provide an equal platform to both Public and Private sector companies in exploration and production of hydrocarbons.
  2. It provided for establishment of Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) as a nodal agency for its implementation.
  3. It was introduced to boost the production of oil and natural gas and providing level playing field for both public and private players.
  4. India has an estimated sedimentary area of 3.14 million km2. consisting of 26 sedimentary basins, of which, 57% (1.79 million km2.) area is in deepwater and remaining 43% (1.35 million km2.) area is in inland and shallow offshore.
  5. At present 1.06 million km2 area is held under Petroleum Exploration Licenses in 18 basins by national oil companies viz. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), OIL India Limited (OIL) and Private/Joint Venture companies.
  6. Before implementation of the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) in 1999, a mere 11% of Indian sedimentary basins were under exploration, which has now increased extensively over the years.

Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP)

  1. It is a policy adopted by Government of India on 10.03.2016 indicating the new contractual and fiscal model for award of hydrocarbon acreages towards exploration and production (E&P).
  2. HELP is applicable for all future contracts to be awarded.
  3. HELP replaces the present policy regime for exploration and production of oil and gas, known as New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP), which has been in existence for 18 years.
  4. Features of HELP:
  • Uniform License: It provides for a uniform licensing system to cover all hydrocarbons such as oil, gas, coal bed methane etc. under a single licensing framework, instead of the present system of issuing separate licenses for each kind of hydrocarbons.
  • Open Acreages: It gives the option to a hydrocarbon company to select the exploration blocks throughout the year without waiting for the formal bid round from the Government.
  • Revenue Sharing Model: Present fiscal system of production sharing contract (PSC) is replaced by an easy to administer “revenue sharing model”. The earlier contracts were based on the concept of profit sharing where profits are shared between Government and the contractor after recovery of cost.
  • Marketing and Pricing Freedom: It has been granted, subject to a ceiling price limit, for new gas production from Deepwater, Ultra Deepwater and High Pressure-High Temperature Areas.

Here’s a Factoid to brush up your concepts


Details : Cassini mission to Saturn is ending its journey. It will dive towards the Saturn and burn up in its atmosphere in October.

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