The Indian government will auction new oil and gas blocks under the fifth round of the National Exploration and Licensing Policy in January, Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar said.
"We will make an announcement of the blocks to be awarded in January," said Aiyar. The announcement is likely to be made when New Delhi hosts a regional seminar of the energy industry, he said.
So far, the government has awarded 90 oil and gas blocks, both offshore and onshore, to companies via international competitive bidding under four rounds of NELP to shore up static domestic petroleum output.
At around 33.2 million metric tons a year, India's crude oil production has stagnated over the past two years. Also, India's gas output, at about 67 MMcm/d, meets only 70% of domestic demand.