India’s crude oil production falls 2.15% in October, gas output rises
India’s crude oil production fell 2.15 per cent in October as state-owned firms produced less but, natural gas output rose by a quarter on the back of output from KG-D6 fields of Reliance-BP, government data released on Tuesday showed.
Crude oil production dropped to 2.51 million tonnes in October, as output from fields operated by Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) dipped.
While ONGC produced 4 per cent less crude oil at 1.64 million tonnes, OIL output dropped 1.46 per cent to 2,53,000 tonnes.
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 fertiliser units and convert into CNG to automobiles, rose 24.7 per cent to 3.01 billion cubic metres in October.
This is because the output from fields operated by private firms jumped 203.6 per cent.
ONGC, the nation’s largest oil and gas producer, produced 4.4 per cent less gas at 1.8 bcm.
As fuel demand rebounded, oil refineries processed more crude oil in October. At 21 million tonnes, crude processing in October was 14 per cent higher than the year-ago period.
The crude thruput has been on the rise in the last few months, as the easing of coronavirus restrictions boosted economic activity and fed demand for fuel.
Public sector refineries processed 8.5 per cent more crude at 11.7 million tonnes, while private refiner Reliance Industries turned 5.3 per cent more crude into fuel.
Refineries produced 14.4 per cent more petroleum products in October at 21.6 million tonnes and 12 per cent more in April-October at 141 million tonnes.
Overall, the refineries operated at 98.76 per cent of their installed capacity, against 86.66 per cent capacity utilisation in October 2020.