Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP)

Source: International Energy Agency
Last updated: 2 February 2023

Adopted in 2016, the Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) is an exploration and production policy of the Government of India that replaced the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP). The objective of the policy is to enhance domestic oil and gas production by intensifying exploration activity and investment. The policy is composed of four components: 

  1. Uniform licence for exploration and production of all forms of hydrocarbon. This streamlines licencing, as the government requires only a single uniform licence for all forms of hydrocarbons, which includes gas from coal mining. There were previously different policy frameworks for different hydrocarbon exploration operations. 
  2. Open acreage policy. Through this, an explorer can study and bid for any block in accordance with its competitive advantage.
  3. Revenue sharing model. This encourages cost efficiency in mining operations by replacing the profit-sharing contract established by NELP. The contractor pays the government a share of its revenue (net of royalty) as per the contract.
  4. Marketing and pricing freedom. The contractor is free to sell crude oil in the domestic market through a transparent bidding process. 

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