New Delhi–At least 134 e-bids were received from 42 companies for 34 small oil and gas contract areas under the Discovered Small Fields (DSF) Bid Round 2016, an official statement said on Monday, which was the deadline for submissions.

As many as 46 contract areas designated for 67 discovered small fields across nine sedimentary basins were on offer, bids for which came in from majors like Cairn India and Hindustan Oil Exploration Company, along with from five smaller foreign firms.

The government has put up for bidding for production under a new revenue sharing model these small fields originally discovered by state-run explorers Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) and Oil India. They, however, could not develop these because of their small size.

Global majors like BP, already producing in India, Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries, as well as ONGC and Oil India stayed away from these auctions.

The bidding round had been extended last month from october 31 to November 21 at the behest of investors and vendors.

The auction will be under the new Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy approved in March, which is based on a revenue-sharing model as opposed to cost-and-output-based norms earlier.

Under the Discovered Small Field Policy, the government is offering for bids 67 discovered small fields in 46 contract areas spread over nine sedimentary basins on land and in shallow and deep water areas.

The offered fields hold 625 million barrels of oil and gas reserves.

Of the 46 small fields, 26 are on land, 18 offshore in shallow water and two in deep water.

While 28 discoveries are in Mumbai offshore, 14 others are in the east coast’s Krishna-Godavari basin.

Eventual operators will be issued a single licence for exploration of conventional and non-conventional hydrocarbons and will have the freedom to sell oil and gas at “arms length” market prices. There would be no cess on crude oil. (IANS)