India’s oil production continues to falter in September, gas production rises
India’s domestic oil production continued to falter in September with crude oil production down 1.74% compared with the corresponding period last year. However, according to the monthly production report released by ministry of petroleum and natural gas, there was a 26.6% increase in gas production in September.
“Crude oil production during September 2021 was 2,443.3 TMT, which is 5.49% lower than target for the month and 1.74% lower than the production of September 2020. Cumulative crude oil production during April-September, 2021 was 14,924.5 TMT, which is 3.68% and 2.92% lower than target for the period and production during corresponding period of last year respectively,” ministry of petroleum and natural gas said in its monthly production report for September on Friday.
With India’s domestic energy production being low, energy security is an important focus area for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government as was articulated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech on 15 August.
“Natural gas production during September 2021 was 2,902.4 MMSCM, which is 26.6% higher than the production of September 2020 but 8.48% lower than the monthly target. Cumulative natural gas production during April-September 2021 was 16,890.9 MMSCM, which is 26.6% higher than production during corresponding period of last year but 6.7% lower when compared with target for the period,” the statement added.
India is a key refining hub in Asia, with an installed capacity of over 249.36 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) through 23 refineries. Domestic production holds the key to India’s energy security. India spent $62.71 billion on crude oil imports in 2020-21, $101.4 billion in 2019-20 and $111.9 billion in 2018-19.
“Crude oil processed during September 2021 was 18,214.4 TMT, which is 2.87% higher than September 2020 but 6.3% lower than the target for the month. Cumulative crude throughput during April-September 2021 was 113,291.5 TMT, which is 13.1% higher than the production of corresponding period of last year but 3.2% lower than target for the period,” the statement added.
This comes against the backdrop of India reeling under high transportation fuel prices even as country has been making repeated appeals to the Opec—plus grouping that also includes Russia to up production. The global energy markets across fuel sources including crude oil, gas and coal that have been on a boil due to inadequate investments in view of the energy transition.
Following the covid outbreak, crude prices for Indian basket of crude had plunged to $19.90 in April last year during the first wave. The prices since then have rallied and was $73.13 a barrel in September, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell showed.