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Crude oil production drops even as prices remain elevated


NEW DELHI :

India’s crude oil production fell 0.95% from 2.49 million tonnes in April 2021 to 2.46 million tonnes in April 2022 on the back of “less than planned contribution from workover wells, drilling wells and old wells”, according to the ministry of petroleum and natural gas. However, the production in April this year was 3.47% higher than the target of 2.38 million tonne, the ministry said on Tuesday. The target for FY23 is 30.22 million tonnes.

Protests and blockades in Assam after the blowout at Oil India’s Baghjan oilfield in the state also affected production, the ministry said.

The fall in crude oil production comes when crude oil prices remain elevated because of the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the global supply concerns.

India has been making efforts to increase its domestic oil production to reduce the import dependence. The country imports around 85% of its energy requirements. State-run Oil India Ltd produced 251,460 tonne crude oil last month which is 0.79% lower than the month’s target.

In March, a standing committee on petroleum and natural gas recommended that the government review its strategy to increase domestic oil production and take concrete, tangible steps for this. In its report submitted to Parliament, the committee raised concern over the “very minimal” contribution of oilfields under the new exploration licensing policy in the production of crude oil in the country.

The ministry of petroleum and natural gas has assured the panel that from financial year 2023, there would be a turnaround in the production of crude in the country and it will witness an increase in production, the panel noted.

Meanwhile, natural gas production increased 6.61% to 2.82 billion cubic metres in April 2022 on a year-on-year basis but was 2.29% less than the monthly target of 2.89 billion cubic metres.

Public sector energy major ONGC produced 1.70 billion cubic metres of natural gas, 0.62% higher than its target, but 1.01% lower than the production in April 2021, following a decline in production at the Gandhar, Jambusar, and Dahej fields in Ankleshwar.

Oil India produced 244.92 million metric standard cubic metres of natural gas, which is 19.30% lower than the monthly target largely because of the less than planned contribution from workover wells, drilling wells and old wells, said the government said. However, the production was 13.85% higher than in April 2021.



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