Can India's new Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) revive upstream investment?



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In March 2016 India approved a series of key policy changes under the Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) to revive interest in the upstream sector. Key implications are: 1. Introduction of a revenue sharing contract shifts significant investment risk onto contractors in return for the government allowing pricing freedom 2. The new contract structure aims to reduce regulatory oversight and bureaucracy cited by industry as a key hindrance to upstream investment 3. The government will receive its share of oil & gas revenues from day one as opposed to previous systems where cost recovery delayed government take 4. New Open acreage licensing has been long advocated but lack of data especially in deepwater areas could hinder interest 5. A single license for unconventional and conventional activity should boost unconventional exploration 6. Improvements in ease of doing business and successful realisation of pricing freedom will be critical to re invigorate investment

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