India’s crude oil production falls by 2.3% in August 2021, natural gas output rises

India’s crude oil production fell by 2.3 per cent in August 2021 while its natural gas output rose by more than a fifth on the back of output from KG-D6 fields of Reliance-BP, government data showed. Crude oil production dropped to 2.51 million tonnes in August as output from fields operated by state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) declined.

India is 85 per cent dependent on imports to meet its oil needs and the government has been for long looking at ways to raise the domestic output so as to reduce import dependence. Crude oil is converted into fuels such as petrol and diesel in refineries.

Production of natural gas, which is used to fire power plants, run fertilizer units and convert into CNG to automobiles, rose 20.23 per cent to 2.9 billion cubic metres in August. This is because the output from fields operated by private firms jumped by 186 per cent.

Without giving a break-up, the notes to the data said, “Increase in gas production… is due to production from new fields D-34 and Satellite Cluster of KG-DWN-98/3 (KG-D6) where production commenced in December 2020 and April 2021 respectively.” Reliance Industries and its partner BP Plc of UK operate the KG-D6 fields.

ONGC, the nation’s largest oil and gas producer, produced 4 per cent less crude oil at 1.6 million tonnes and 9 per cent less gas at 1.7 bcm.

As fuel demand has rebounded, oil refineries processed more crude oil in August. At 18.4 million tonnes, crude processing in August was 14.17 per cent higher than the year-ago period. Public sector refineries processed 13.6 per cent more crude at nearly 10 million tonnes while private refiner Reliance Industries turned 16.4 per cent more crude into fuel. Refineries produced 9 per cent more petroleum products in August at 19.5 million tonnes and 12 per cent more in April-August at 100.2 million tonnes. Overall, the refineries operated at 87 per cent of their installed capacity as against 76.1 per cent capacity utilisation in August 2020.

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