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Open acres: The new hydrocarbon policy opens us exploration

The new hydrocarbon policy makes exploration more attractive for investors

The recently unveiled Open Acreage Licensing Policy and the National Data Repository together are a significant and welcome 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 drawback 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 invest 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 offering 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 achieve a more cohesive framework of the country’s energy security. Tied to this is the National Data Repository, which is envisaged as a centralized database of geological and hydrocarbon information that will be available to all. Besides allowing potential investors to make informed decisions, this will open up a new sector in India. There are a number of companies around the world that make it their business to simply explore hydrocarbon basins and sell the information they gather. The new initiative seeks to incentive's such prospectors.

Companies may also submit applications through the year and not just at designated and often infrequent points, as was the case earlier. The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons has said that while the auctions will be held twice a year for now, the frequency could be increased as soon as the industry grows accustomed to the new system. This, too, will lend more flexibility to the industry. However, there are still some concerns about the implementation of the overall Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy. The policy awards an extra five points to bidders for an acreage if they have already invested in the exploration and development of that area, but it is doubtful if this is enough of an incentive, since the investment needed to simply explore is significant. By contrast, no such preference is given to mineral explorers while auctioning mining rights — instead, a revenue-share from mining operations is their recompense for exploration efforts. This could be considered for the hydrocarbon sector as well. Another concern is whether India can attract enough investment to meet the government’s objective of reducing oil imports by 10% by 2022, especially given the past experience investors have had with large projects such as KG-D6. There are after all proven reserves in other parts of the world, such as the Gulf of Mexico, that could still keep investor appetite for Indian acreage weak. Source : THE HINDU

IMPORTANT WORDS FROM ARTICLE & THEIR MEANING

1)Discretion ( विवेक) (Noun):    dis-cre-tion
Meaning -  the freedom to decide what should be done in a certain situation
Synonyms - choice, option, preference.
Antonyms - carelessness , affinity ,imprudence , stupidity
Example - Students who get a mark which is within one percent of the minimum may be passed at the discretion of the instructor.

2) Swathe  (लपेटना) (noun) : swa-the
Meaning -a bandage or band ,a broad area of something , to cover
Synonyms -  Wrap , swaddle , tie , fasten 
Antonyms -  Ascertain ,bare ,expose
Example - Placing a swathe around each bundle, the manufacturer took great pride in making sure the products were properly secured before shipping.

3) Envisage (परिकल्पना)  (verb):   en-vis-age
Meaning - to view or regard in a certain way ,to have a mental picture of especially in advance of realization
Synonyms visualise , predict, forecast
Antonyms - Unforeseen , withdrawn
Example - The engineer envisaged the recovery process for system breakdown.

4) Woo (प्रलोभन, मनाना) (verb):  woo
Meaning - seek the favour, support, or custom of.
Synonyms - Chase , cultivate , allure , charm
Antonyms - ignore , shun , bully ,abase
Example - Shurpanaka wooed to Lakshman to marry her .

5)Cohesive (जोड़नेवाला) (adjective):  koh-hee-siv
Meaning - closely united; well integrated
Synonyms -  united, integrated, cooperated.
Antonyms - fragmented , disjointed , isolated , divided
Example - After six weeks of training together, our group bonded and became quite cohesive.

6) Accustomed ( आदी) (adjective): ah-cus-tumd
Meaning -   often used or practiced, adapted to existing conditions ,being in the habit or custom
Synonyms -customary, usual, ordinary/typical.
Antonyms - unusual , new , abnormal ,unaccoustomed , deviant
Example -  The hardest thing for students living in hostel is to get accustomed with the food provided.

7) Incentivize (प्रोत्साहित)  (verb):- in-centi-vise
Meaning - to encourage someone to do better , to offer motivation
Synonyms - encourage, motivate, prompt.
Antonyms- Deter ,discourage , disincentivize
Example - The government should incentivize the private sector to create jobs.

8) Appetite (भूख )(Noun) : ap-ee-tait
Meaning -  a strong desire for something
Synonyms - craving, hunger/thirst.
Antonyms - Dislike , aversion , disgust , distaste
Example - Aristotle once noted that every action is due to one or other of seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reasoning, anger, or appetite.

9) Deem (समझना)  (verb)  : de-e-m
Meaning - to view in a particular manner ,consider in a specified way
Synonyms - Regard as ,think , suppose , view
Antonyms - Disregard , accuse , ignore
Example -Because I am still running a very high temperature, the doctor does not deem me fit to leave the hospital.

10) Acreage (रकबा)(noun)ey-ker-ij
Meaning -area , area in acres , area of the (agricultural) land.
Synonyms - Property , land , area , field
Example -As web apps become more prevalent, people will be less willing to giving up their acreage to ads.

Fortuitous (Verb)   -    आकस्मिक
Meaning - happening by accident or chance
Synonyms - accidental , unpredictable , fortunate ,chance ,unplanned
Antonyms - intentional , planned , calculated ,predicatable
Example (English) - Long ago, Ranveer had a fortuitous meeting with a television producer which helped him become a superstar.
Example (Hindi) -बहुत पहले, रणवीर की एक टेलीविजन निर्माता के साथ एक आकस्मिक बैठक हुई थी ,जिससे उन्हें सुपरस्टार बनने में मदद मिली |

Now considering the article above as a Reading Comprehension question, try to answer the following questions-
  • What are some major changes in this new hydrocarbon policy that are in favour of investors ?
  • What are the concerns about the implementation of the overall Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy?
To check your vocabulary , we have given below some words. Try to make sentences with these words in the comment section which will be reviewed by us.
  • Unveil
  • Repository
  • Prospective
  • Open up

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