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immediately notify it and then we will go full force with the Nelp X round. Out of the total 86 blocks that have been earmarked, 56 have already been approved by the various ministries, so we are going ahead aggressively with them.
We are trying our level best to clear more blocks. We have decided that on January 12 when the international oil and gas event, Petrotech, starts in New Delhi. We will announce the starting of Nelp X, which essentially means the bidding will commence from that day for the Nelp X round. There is no delay.
What about foreign participation in the current Nelp? In Nelp IX, there was hardly any.
I have spoken to many of the foreign operators and they had expressed their concerns. Some short-term measures are being taken to allay their fears and within a month, you will see several decisions being taken by the ministry, which will address their concerns. As of today, investors have become very optimistic about the petroleum sector.
What about the revenue-sharing model that investors had objected to and was one of the main concerns for investment in the oil and gas sector?
A move from the cost-recovery model to revenue-sharing model was one of the recommendations of the Rangarajan committee. There were issues related to deep and ultra-deep water explorations, which are being addressed now. But on Thursday, I have signed a Cabinet note to be circulated to all the ministries, which will eventually transform the current cost-recovery model to revenue-sharing. It will come before the Cabinet and approved very soon and the blocks under the Nelp X will fall under this model.
What is the amount of bank guarantee that RIL will have to pay to the government?
That needs to be calculated. The gas price will be hiked from April 1, 2014. At that time, what will be the weighted average cannot be anticipated today. On the basis of what the price is on April 1, the bank guarantee will be worked out.
Reliance Industries (RIL) had been talking to the government to allow them to retain 8 blocks that were a part of the area which the government had asked the company to hand over. What is the status on that?
We had asked Reliance to hand us back a certain portion of their acreage out of which most of it was given away by the company willingly. For