India’s diesel demand to double by 2029-30, government says

India’s diesel demand is likely to double to 163 million tonnes (MT) in 12 years as consumption rises in the world’s fastest-growing economy, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.

In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Pradhan said as per the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2018, the country’s oil demand is projected to jump by 61 per cent to 350 MT of oil equivalent by 2030, from 217 MT in 2016.

India is the world’s third-largest oil consumer.

The country’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.47 per cent in oil demand compares with 1.92 per cent projected for China during the 2016-2030 period. During this period, the US and Japan are likely to witness a contraction of demand, while Russia may just manage a positive growth with consumption rising from 149 MT to 154 MT, he said.

As per the report of a working group constituted by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas on enhancing refining capacity by 2040, the demand for petrol is likely to rise from 26.2 MT in 2017-18 to 49 MT in 2029-30, he said. For diesel, the demand is projected to grow from 81.1 MT in 2017-18 to 163 MT in 2029-30.

“Oil consumption in 2017 over 2015 grew on a compound average basis of 6 per cent,” he said, adding that the rise in growth was mainly due to increasing economic and manufacturing activities, thrust on infrastructure spending, growth in disposable income leading to the higher purchase of automobiles and mechanisation of agriculture.

India saw oil consumption rise from 197.8 MT in 2015 to 217.1 MT in 2016 and 222.1 MT in 2017, he said.

Pradhan said to meet the rising demand, the government has taken several steps to enhance exploration and production of oil and gas in the country.

These include a new Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) and Open Acreage Licensing Policy (OALP). Also, idle discovered fields of state-owned firms have been bid out under the Discovered Small Fields (DSF) policy, he said.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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