The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the policy framework to streamline production sharing contracts signed in the pre-New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) and NELP periods.

Key decisions under the framework include increasing the exploration period granted for blocks in the northeast, and easing the sharing of royalties with the developers of the blocks.

“Based on recommendations in ‘Hydrocarbon Vision 2030 for North East’, government has extended timelines for exploration and appraisal period in operational blocks of north eastern region of India considering geographical, environmental and logistical challenges,” the government said in a release.

‘Pricing freedom’

“The exploration period has been increased by two years and appraisal period by one year.” The Centre has also allowed marketing, including pricing freedom for natural gas to be produced from discoveries which are yet to commence production as on July 1, 2018.

“The government has created an enabling framework for sharing of statutory levies including royalty and cess in proportion to the participating interest of the contractor in Pre-NELP Exploration Blocks, and the same has been made cost recoverable with prospective effect.”

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