New Delhi: State-owned ONGC and Oil India Ltd alongside private sector Vedanta Ltd on Tuesday walked away with almost all of the oil blocks auctioned in the latest licensing round as part of the government’s effort to raise domestic production. The winners of Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP) Round II and III, which closed earlier this year, signed exploration and production contracts with the government at a function here on Tuesday.Speaking on the occasion, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that more production of oil and gas is a priority of the Modi-2.0 government as it looks to meet its rising energy demand of fast growing economy. “There is possibility of $1 billion in OALP-II and III,” he said. Oil India Ltd signed up for the 12 out of 32 oil and gas exploration blocks it won in the twin rounds that ran parallelly because OALP-II was delayed. Vedanta Ltd walked away with 10 and Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) got eight blocks. Reliance Industries and its British partner BP Plc signed a contract for the sole KG basin gas they had bid, while Indian Oil Corp (IOC) too got one block. Reliance-BP combine outbid ONGC in one Krishna Godavari basin block in the Bay of Bengal. This is an area that ONGC had previously relinquished and is said to hold natural gas prospects. According to the DGH, OIL won six out of the 14 blocks on offer in OALP-II while Vedanta walked away with five. ONGC, Reliance-BP and IOC won one block each. Speaking on the development, Vedanta Resources Ltd Executive Chairman Anil Agarwal said, “We congratulate the Government for the successful completion of three rounds of auctions under OALP. The progressive vision of this Government has been key to developing the hydrocarbons industry in India, and we appreciate the faith they have reposed in us. With the sizable and diversified portfolio of the blocks, Cairn will step up its efforts to produce 50 per cent of India’s domestic crude oil. We believe in the hydrocarbons potential of India and this is a huge enabler to lead the nation towards energy security.” OIL CMD Utpal Bora informed that the strategy of the company is to consolidate its position as the leading operator in the North-East and carry out exploration in Category II & III basins in line with the Government of India’s vision to intensify exploration in Indian sedimentary basins and increase domestic oil and gas production. In OALP-III, ONGC won seven blocks while OIL got six and Vedanta the remaining five. Bidding for 14 blocks on offer in the OALP round-II and another18 oil and gas blocks as well as five coal-bed methane (CBM) blocks on offer in OALP-III closed on May 15. No bid was received for any of the CBM blocks. Reliance-BP had made their first bid in eight years when they sought an area that previously was held by ONGC, sources said. When the government in July 2017 allowed companies to carve out blocks of their choice with a view to bringing about 2.8 million sq km of unexplored area in the country under exploration, Reliance-BP sought the KG area containing the discoveries.