Of a total of 254 blocks offered under NELP so far, as many as 68 have been relinquished. This number is likely to go up further in the coming days upon the completion of more exploration programmes. Of a total of 24 blocks offered in NELP-1, as many as 19 have been relinquished. Further, of the 23 blocks each offered in NELP-II and NELP-III, as many as 19 and 14 have been relinquished. Similarly, in case of NELP-IV, five of the 20 blocks and in case of NELP-V, seven of the 20 blocks on offer have seen the relinquishment.
However, this doesn’t mean that NELP is a failure. NELP has been able to attract sizeable investment into the sector both for exploration and development. NELP has been able to attract investment to the tune of $20.18 billion so far. Of this, $ 12.05 billion is by way of exploration investment and remaining $8.13 billion development investments. Interestingly, half of this investment is accounted for by the RIL’s D-6 block. Further, it should be noted that development investments and exploration investments haven’t started yet in NELP rounds IV to IX, as exploration phases are still to be completed. So, the figure of investment will go up further in the coming years.
One thing is for sure, despite the large number of relinquishment, NELP has been able to attract large amount of private investment into the sector.