New Exploration Licensing Policy
The New Exploration Licensing Policy or NELP was framed by the Indian government during 1997-98 to offer a level playing field for both private and public sector companies in the area of exploring and producing hydrocarbons. The NELP functions with the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons as the nodal implementing agency. The idea behind the introduction of NELP was to augment the production of oil and gas in India. Before 1999, i.e., before the introduction of NELP, India was exploring only about 11% of the total sedimentary basins in the country. After its implementation, this percentage has considerably increased. The current government has replaced the NELP with the Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) under the Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy or HELP in 2016. This seeks to further liberalise this sector.