The recently unveiled Open Acreage Licensing Policy and the National Data Repository together are a significant and ____(1)_____step towards opening up the hydrocarbon exploration and production industry in India. By placing greater discretion in the hands of explorers and operators, the Licensing Policy attempts to address a major ____(2)_____in the New Exploration Licensing Policy, which forced energy explorers to bid for blocks chosen by the government. Companies can now apply for particular areas they deem to be attractive to ____(3)_______in, and the Centre will put those areas up for bids. This is more attractive for prospective operators because in the past, the blocks chosen by the government often were large swathes of land or sea in which only a small fraction had hydrocarbon reserves. By ___(4)________companies the freedom to choose exactly the areas they want to explore, and their size, the government has a better chance to woo serious energy investors in an effort to help _____(5)______a more cohesive framework of the country’s energy security. Tied to this is the National Data Repository, which is envisaged as a centralised database of geological and hydrocarbon information that will be available to all.
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