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Strong surge in oil, gas output

After years of stagnant production, India will soon be able to boast of a significant increase in its domestic crude oil and natural gas production.

business Updated: Nov 03, 2009 22:04 IST
Anupama Airy

After years of stagnant production, India will soon be able to boast of a significant increase in its domestic crude oil and natural gas production.

The country, which spent nearly $90 billion last year to import around 80 per cent of its crude oil requirements, is all set to witness a 13 per cent increase in its domestic crude oil production and also a 61 per cent increase in natural gas production by the end of the current financial year, according to Petroleum Ministry documents.

India's oil and gas production during the current year will take a big leap following the commencement of oil and gas production by private players like Cairn India in Rajasthan and Reliance Industries in the Krishna-Godavari basin.

The natural gas production by Reliance Industries Ltd in the KG basin is expected to touch 60 million standard cubic metres of gas per day from the current 45 mmscmd. This coupled with crude oil production by Cairn during the year will help increase India’s crude oil production from 33.6 million tonnes per annum to around 39 mtpa.

In contrast, the oil and gas production by state-owned entities like the ONGC and Oil India Ltd have been static for the last many years.

Asked for his comments, Petroleum Secretary R S Pandey said, “From 100 million standard cubic metres of gas per day in the beginning of the year, the country’s gas production has already reached 140 mmscmd and is expected to touch 180 mmscmd by the end of the fiscal.

“I am not sure but I cannot remember if we have ever done it at this scale in the past.”

PetroleumMminister Murli Deora’s aides are busy preparing a report on the performance of India's oil and gas sector say the production numbers are a record of sorts.

The year 2009-10 has, otherwise been full of controversies for the petroleum ministry—be it the one surrounding the ongoing enquiries by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the kerosene marker scam and the alleged nexus of the oil regulator V K Sibal with Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd or even the ongoing gas dispute with the Ambani brothers.