India has awarded coal bed methane gas blocks to firms including British oil major BP Plc, Australia's Arrow Energy and India's Reliance Energy Ltd and Tata Power Co Ltd.
The cabinet has accepted the recommendations of Empowered Committee of Secretaries and decided to award blocks according to their recommendations without any change, Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram told reporters.
BP's subsidiary, BP Exploration (Alpha) Ltd, has won one of the two blocks for which it had bid.
A consortium of Reliance Energy, Reliance Natural Resources -both part of India's Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group - and France's GeoPetrol International Inc has been awarded four CBM blocks.
Arrow Energy along with Indian state-run gas transporter GAIL (India) Ltd and EIG Energy Infrastructure Group AB has been awarded three blocks. Tata Power is a partner in two of the three blocks won by Arrow Energy-led consortiums.
US-based Coalgas Mart LLC-led consortiums have won two blocks.
CBM fields produce a low-pressure gas that must be compressed before being fed into a pipeline. Its heating value is lower than that of natural gas.
India's flagship explorer, state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd, and top private oil firm Reliance Industries Ltd have drawn a blank after winning blocks in last year's CBM round.
In June, the Indian government said it had received 54 bids from 26 firms for the 10 blocks. India has been racing to boost domestic gas production to secure a stable energy supply and meet rising demand in Asia's third-largest economy.