Media reports indicate that around 68 oil and gas blocks may be auctioned by the government during the the 10th round of New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) in 2013-14.
Union petroleum ministry and the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) are in the process of securing various clearances for offering the blocks.
The DGH is coordinating with the environment ministry for environment and forest nod, while the ministry sought defence clearance for offering of the blocks, reports indicate.
The environment ministry is carrying out a sensitivity test In order to ascertain reserve forests and bio-diversity, marine park, wild life sanctuaries, national parks, areas having threatened flora and fauna and CRZ areas within the blocks proposed under NELP-X.
In the earlier nine rounds, the government awarded 254 blocks for exploration of oil and gas. Last few rounds received tepid response with global majors staying away.
Of the 68 blocks being considered for offering in NELP-X, 25 are deep water, 20 shallow water and 23 onland blocks. The terms being considered for NELP-X are what a panel headed by Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council chairman C Rangarajan has suggested for future production sharing contracts (PSC).
Of the 34 areas offered in NELP-IX in 2010, bids were received for 33 blocks at the close of bidding on March 28, 2011. Of these, only 19 blocks were awarded.