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Rs 55,000 cr oil depots on the cards

business Updated: Sep 04, 2012 00:31 IST
Anupama Airy
Anupama Airy
Hindustan Times
Anupama Airy

A Rs 55,000-crore plus blueprint has been prepared for creating additional strategic crude oil storage facilities in the country to store 12.5-million tonnes (mt) of oil for usage during emergency situations arising in the wake of a natural calamity or any unforseen global event.

Such events generally lead to oil supply disruptions and an abnormal increase in oil prices.

Any increase in crude oil prices affects India in a big way since it imports over 80% of its oil requirement every year.

The government spent $150 billion (Rs 8.3 lakh crore) to buy 171 mt of crude, or 84% of the total requirement of 205 mt, in the last fiscal year.

While a Rs 23,000-crore plus plan to create strategic crude oil facilities for storing 5.3 mt is already under way at three locations, the plan to create additional storage facilities will give India access to 17.8 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of crude oil supplies.

"The new storage facilities along with those under construction will give India about 55 days of cover to counter any supply disruptions in the international oil market," said a senior petroleum ministry official, adding that the new plan will soon be sent to the Cabinet for approval.

"Engineers India Limited (EIL) has completed a pre-feasibility study for setting up crude storage facility in the next phase and has identified four additional locations for preparation of detailed feasibility reports (DFR)," the official said.

Each of these new locations will have a crude oil storage capacity of 2.5 mt and will come up at Bikaner in Rajasthan, Chandikhol in Odisha, Rajkot in Gujarat and at Padur in Karnataka.

While all the earlier three strategic crude oil storages would be in underground rock caverns, the four new such facilities have been proposed as a mix of rock caverns, salt caverns and underground concrete tanks.

Following oil security concerns, crude oil storage of 5.3 mt is underway at three locations including Visakhapatnam (1.33 mmt), Mangalore (1.5 mmt) and Padur (2.5 mmt).

The facility at Visakhapatnam is likely to be completed by March 2013, followed by Mangalore in end 2013 and Padur in the middle of 2014.