World Crude Oil
India saw tepid interest from global oil firms towards its small oil and gas field auction.REUTERS

De-risking through diversification seems to be the way for business leaders with media baron Subhash Chandra and pharma tycoon Dilip Shanghvi vying for oil and natural gas blocks in the country.

According to a report in Business Standard, these two business leaders took part in the auction process of small discovered oil fields conducted by the Narendra Modi government on Monday.

Shanghvi through his firm Sun Petrochemicals submitted bids for seven fields, which include five in Gujarat and two in Mumbai offshore. The company's website says that it has a manufacturing facility in Nagothane in Maharashtra producing acetylene black used in battery manufacturing and other niche applications.

It has also diversified into the upstream hydrocarbon business through Sun Oil and Natural Gas (SONG) division dealing with exploration and production.

Meanwhile, Subhash Chandra has joined the auction through Essel Middle East and has shown interest in two fields in Assam and Gujarat.

Based in Dubai, Essel Middle East is involved in the business of mineral mining, oil explorations and acquisition of natural resource assets.

Notably, India's first auction of small discovered fields witnessed subdued response from global bidders on Monday. However, domestic players showed huge interest with a lot of firms vying to put their hands in oil and gas assets.

The fields with estimated oil and gas assets of around $625 million received 134 bids from 42 companies for 34 contract areas. Only five foreign bidders participated with most big names staying away from the auction process.

The blocks put for auction were given up by Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) due to their small sizes.