BHP Billiton had given up nine stakes in India

By Marc Castro

Oct 21, 2013 12:39 PM EDT

BHP Billiton, the global mining firm, said last Monday that it had given up nine oil and gas exploration blocks located in India. The reason for such return is the inability to undertake exploratory operations in the areas.

The inability stems from delays in obtaining clearances, as reported by local media. For its part, BHP would not confirm the reason for the surrender of its oil and gas interests. 

In a statement, BHP Billiton said, "The decision to relinquish these blocks is the result of an exploration review... there have been regular discussions and communications over the last 12 months with the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas."

BHP gave up its interest in the six blocks it had awarded during India's NELP VII bid round. In these blocks, BHP owned 26% interest. The firm also owns 100% interest in three blocks that were awarded at NELP VII bid round. The company though would retain 50% of its interest in the NELP IX block, which is operated by the BG Group.

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