Minister Narendra Modi on Friday(12
October 2018) reviewed the oil and gas production profile of
state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) over the
near to medium term to assess how his target to cut oil imports by 10 per cent
would be met.
Sources with direct knowledge of the meeting said
ONGC Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Shashi Shanker and OIL's CMD Utpal
Bora gave projections of oil and gas production of their respective companies
over the next five- year period.
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Petroleum Secretary M M Kutty were also present at the
meeting, they said.
used 77 per cent oil import dependence in the fiscal year 2013-14 (ending March
31, 2014) as the reference to call for reducing import dependence to 67 per
cent by 2022.
Import dependence has, however, increased since
then from 81.7 percent in 2016-17 to 83.2 percent during the April-August
period of current 2018-19 fiscal according to the Oil Ministry's Petroleum
Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC).
Sources said the government wanted domestic
output to be raised and imported oil supplemented by the use of biofuels like
ethanol extracted from sugarcane juice.
India's crude oil fell from 36 million tonnes in
2016-17 to 35.7 million tonnes in 2017-18.
Speaking at the 'Urja Sangam' conference in
March 2015, the Prime Minister had said if imports, which accounted for a
staggering 77 per cent of demand at the time, are cut by 10 per cent by 2022,
the country can look to halving it by 2030.
At the meeting, it was highlighted that the
government has tweaked the exploration policy regime to offer more flexibility
to investors. Exploration companies can now legally exploit unconventional
hydrocarbon resources like shale and coal bed methane from fields allotted for
harnessing traditional oil and gas.
These measures will result in increased oil and
gas production but it will take few years for that to happen, sources
ONGC is investing USD 5.07 billion in bringing
to production a cluster of discoveries in Bay of Bengal block KG-DWN-98/2 or
KG-D5. First gas is expected by December 2019 and oil by March 2021.
The firm is targeting a peak oil output of
77,305 barrels per day (3.8 million tonnes per annum) within two years of the
start of production. Gas output is slated to peak to 16.56 million standard
cubic metres per day by 2022.