India’s crude oil production slips 5 per cent in Nov

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New Delhi: India’s crude oil production fell by 5 per cent in November primarily due to a sharp drop in output at Rajasthan oilfields operated by private sector Cairn Vedanta, government data showed on Tuesday. India is dependent on imports for 85 per cent of its needs and the government is pushing domestic explorers to raise output to help cut down imports. Crude oil production in November stood at 2.48 million tonnes was lower than 2.61 million tonnes produced in the same month a year back.

Rajasthan fields produced 9.6 per cent less crude oil at 476,990 tonnes as Mangala, Aishwarya and other fields in the Cairn block flowed less oil for a variety of reasons, according to data released by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) produced 1.5 per cent less oil largely due to lesser than the anticipated output at newer fields. Oil India Ltd produced 6.6 per cent less oil from Assam due to protests/agitation in the state following the Baghjan blowout. During April-November, India’s oil production was 6 per cent lower at 20.42 million tonnes. The output from Rajasthan during this period dropped 16 per cent to 3.91 million tonnes.

Natural gas production in the country fell 9 per cent to 2.3 billion cubic meters in November largely due to a fall in eastern offshore field output. ONGC produced 3.7 per cent less gas after the Hazira processing plant was shut down for maintenance. Gas output during April-November was 18.7 bcm, down 11.8 per cent over the previous year.

With the economy slowly reflating, crude oil processing by the nation’s 23 refineries was fast returning to normal. They processed 20.78 million tonnes of crude oil in November, down 5.11 per cent year-on-year, but 13 per cent higher than 18.3 million tonnes crude processing in October 2020.

Top refiner Indian Oil Corporation’s (IOC) nine units operated at over 100 per cent capacity during November and so did units of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL). Reliance Industries’ only-for-export refinery at Jamnagar in Gujarat operated at 90 per cent of its capacity while the run rate at the company’s adjacent domestic market-oriented unit was 106 per cent.

Nayara Energy’s Vadinar refinery in Gujarat too operated at 90 per cent of the capacity. All the refineries put together produced 21.42 million tonnes of petroleum products, down 5 per cent over last year but 13 per cent higher than 18.87 million tonnes produced in October 2020.