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India’s crude oil production fell for the fifth straight year in 2016-17 as output continued to slide at ageing oilfields. Output fell 2.5% from the previous fiscal to 36 million metric tonnes as production at the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s Mumbai High field and Cairn India’s fields in Rajasthan slipped, according to Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC), an arm of the oil ministry.
“The delay in deployment of Sagar Samrat rig to mobile offshore production unit as well as development of western periphery of Mumbai High (MH) South field has also affected the crude production for ONGC,” PPAC said in its monthly note.
“The major decline was observed in Rajasthan’s fields due to closure of a few high water cut wells in Mangala field and poor reservoir performance of Bhagyam wells.”
Meanwhile, a rapidly expanding economy pushed up country’s oil demand 5% in 2016-17. Though lower than 11% demand growth witnessed in 2015-16, increased consumption, along with falling output, prompted a 5.2% jump in the import of crude to 213 million metric tonnes worth $70 billion during the fiscal. This increased India’s import dependence to 82% of its requirement in 2016-17 from 81% in the previous year.
The government is aiming to bring down import dependence to 67% by 2022 by raising local output and increasing use of biofuel in transportation, a bid to reduce dependence on overseas energy sources and save on valuable foreign exchange.
Domestic natural gas production fell 1% to 30.8 billion cubic meters in 2016-17 while consumption went up 6%. Import of liquefied natural gas (LNG), accounting for 45% of total domestic consumption, rose 15% during the year.
Indian state firms’ production from overseas fields, however, rose sharply to 15.9 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) in 2016-17 from 9.7 mtoe in the previous year, driven mainly by stake purchases in Russia’s Vankor field. ONGC Videsh’s production jumped 40% to 12.5 mtoe. It is expected to go up another 15% in the current fiscal.
India imported 22% more petroleum products in 2016-17, mainly due to increase in petcoke import by the private sector. The country exported 7% more petroleum products, with private sector accounting for 80% of total export.
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