Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has emerged the provisional winner for close to 10 out of the 29 blocks it has bid for in the ninth round of the New Exploration Licensing Policy (Nelp). It had won nearly two-thirds of the blocks offered in the previous rounds. Reliance Industries (RIL), which stayed away the last time, is the front-runner for two of the four blocks for which it has bid. BP, which recently bought a 30 per cent stake in RILâ€™s oil and gas blocks, did not take part in the auction. This round is expected to draw an investment commitment of close to Rs 4,500 crore as compared to $1.1 billion in the previous round. Deep Industries is learnt to be the top bidder for four blocks. Oil India, Ishar Gas Oil and Sankalp Oil are leading in three blocks each. Chinar Commerce is the leading bidder for two blocks. Essar, Pratibha Oil, Focus, Prize, BG-BHP Billiton and PIC are front-runners for a block each. A total of 74 bids were received for 33 blocks. One block did not get any bid. No new major overseas exploration company took part in this round. India failed to woo global players in its latest oil and gas exploration licensing round due to its dim track record of commercial discoveries and sluggish bureaucracy.