Policy Considerations Around India’s Upstream Reforms
India’s government is attempting to revive investments in its upstream sector, following several years of decline. These efforts are focused on achieving a policy objective of reducing energy imports by 10 per cent over current levels by 2022. Following an auction of marginal fields held by its National Oil Companies (NOCs) in 2016, an open acreage licensing round was launched in 2017; changing the upstream fiscal regime, going forward, from a profit-sharing to a revenue-sharing model. With the 2022 target looming, other models are also being considered, including NOC farmouts and production-enhancement contracts. This paper contributes to the policy discussion by addressing the following questions: what are the lessons from India’s previous bidding rounds for upstream acreage? And, what are some of the policy considerations, given similar international experience?