Multiple bids for GSPC’s blocks
Ahmedabad: Gujarat State Petroleum Corp’s bidding process for the sale of its 12 onshore hydrocarbon blocks was completed with the participation of at least half-a-dozen private companies.
But its hopes of attracting central PSUs were washed away. This despite repeated extensions given by GSPC over the past few months.
The bid submission deadline was extended four times at the behest of public sector oil companies. “We have successfully completed the bidding process. We will shortlist the winners soon,” said a government official.
The participants have submitted multiple bids for the blocks. “Billionaire Dilip Shanghvi’s Sun Petro, Gujarat Natural Resources (GNRL), and Hindustan Oil Exploration Company (HOEC), among others, have each bid for four to five blocks,” the official said.
HOEC recently decided to buy the Indian assets of Hardy Oil and Gas.
On March 1, Gujarat Energy Research and Management Institute (GERMI), GSPC’s energy research arm, floated a tender to farm out 2 operating and 10 non-operating exploration and production fields.
Gujarat State Petroleum Corp is the operator in Unawa and Miroli blocks. Of the 10 remaining blocks, five are operated by ONGC, three by GNRL, and one each by Sun Petro and Australian oil explorer Oilex.
The bidding deadline was first extended on April 15 to May 15 after oil PSUs said it clashed with the deadline of the central government’s hydrocarbon block/field auctioning under Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP). Then it was extended to June 17 after the PSUs said that it again clashed with the OLAP deadline.
“August 31 was the final call for all potential participants,” said a government official. None of the Central PSUs including Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd, GAIL (India) Ltd, Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL), or Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) bid for the GSPC blocks, he added.
This is not the first time that Gujarat State Petroleum Corp has tried to sell off its stake in its exploration and production blocks.
In July 2016, it had unsuccessfully attempted to sell its stake in 20 blocks.
GSPC holds participating interest in 21 onshore and offshore exploration and production blocks/fields.
Gujarat state run Gujarat State Petroleum Corp recently completed its three-year financial restructuring process.
GSPC, whose debts had wiped off its net worth, has now restructured its debt to manageable levels.