India Oil Ministry launches fifth bid round for oil, gas blocks

MUMBAI, Jan 15 (Reuters) -

* India’s Oil Ministry launches fresh round of oil and gas blocks bidding under its Open Acreage Licensing Programme

* Under the programme, bidders are free to explore for any type oil and gas deposit include shale formations

* It is the fifth round of oil and gas bidding under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government’s new bidding policy called as Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP)

* Under the fifth round 11 blocks are on offer covering 19,800 square kilometres and the bidding process will be open till Mar. 18

* Out of the 11 blocks on offer, eight are onland blocks, two shallow water blocks and one is an ultra deep water blocks (Reporting by Promit Mukherjee)