India’s oil secretary Vivek Rae announced on monday that the country will offer at least 56 oil and gas exploration blocks in its first auction of licenses in nearly two years, based on new gas-pricing and revenue-sharing rules.

India is currently the world’s fourth largest oil importer.

Their aim is to swiftly utilize domestic reservoirs to curb its rapidly growing import bills.

Transparency, regulatory barriers, and bureaucracy have hampered foreign interest in previous offerings.

India is hoping recent gas pricing reforms will increase foreign interest.

“Gas pricing is the single most important decision that will encourage and invite more companies to invest in India,” Rae said.

The oil ministry has obtained clearance for exploration of 56 blocks, he said, adding that more could be offered if it can get additional environmental, defense and other permits.


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