India is planning to attract investment commitments of $7-8 billion in the oil and gas sector in its seventh round of the New Exploration and Licensing Policy (Nelp) auctions. This time, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is planning to attract the oil majors, like Exxon which have kept away from the earlier six rounds. The earlier rounds have attracted over $8 billion.

Speaking at the Nelp VII roadshow in Mumbai, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora said, “We are making every possible attempt to get international oil majors to the country.” While he refused to divulge names, he confirmed that steel baron LN Mittal had expressed interest in taking part in the auction.

Petroleum Secretary MS Srinivasan said: “The crude prices may soar to $150 a barrel in the next two-three years. Considering this, we are putting in more efforts in our exploration and production.”