Crude oil output to go up substantially from next year: Petroleum Secy
The country will see a much higher crude production volume from next year onwards, Petroleum Secretary Pankaj Jain said on Friday, adding that the outcome is the result of a series of efforts made by the Centre.
Jain made these comments on the heels of contracts signed by the government for 34 oil exploration blocks. He was speaking at an industry event hosted by the Federation of Indian Petroleum Industry. Jain said increased crude and natural gas exploration will help oil marketing companies (OMCs) carve out new blocks.
He said India’s crude and natural gas exploration area has already risen significantly owing to better mapping through technological intervention.
Jain said the government aims to have one million sq km of area under crude and natural gas exploration by 2030.
He added that as many as 17,750 compressed natural gas (CNG) stations will be set up in India by 2030, compared with the current 4,664.
The Centre also aims to have 50 million domestic petroleum and natural gas supply lines by 2030, up from nine million currently.
The government plans to prune domestic petroleum usage through a series of measures. All petrol and diesel stations in India would be run on solar power by 2024. OMCs will also set up 20,000 EV charging stations at petrol pumps across India by 2024.
A biofuel alliance with Brazil and the US will also be struck once India begins the G20 presidency, he added.
Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, back from Gastech 2022 in Milan, said the oil and gas price crisis is far worse in Europe and other developed economies. India has taken several measures to minimise and mitigate the volatility of global crude oil and gas prices, he argued.
“Fuel price rise in India has been contained in comparison to exponential rise in developed countries. Most of the developed nations have witnessed a significant rise in gasoline prices by almost 40 per cent during July 2021 to August 2022, while in India, gasoline price has reduced by 2.12 per cent,” he said.
However, he also stressed that if crude prices continue to rise, the world economy will fall into recession.
On whether the retail price of fuel can come down given falling crude prices in the past one week, Puri said the OMCs need more time to recover their losses.
Exploration contracts awarded
The event also saw the contract signing for 34 oil exploration contracts awarded with 14 companies. This included 30 contracts for Discovered Oil Fields (DSF) blocks. .
Of this, Cairn Oil & Gas said it has signed a contract for eight oil/gas fields under the Discovered Small Field (DSF) Bid Round-III. “Of the eight blocks won, five are offshore (Cambay off, Kutch off, Mumbai off and KG off) and three are onshore (two in Assam, one in Madhya Pradesh). Over the next 10-20 years, these fields are expected to produce 84 mmboe of crude oil,” Cairn said in a public statement.
The companies had placed bids in the third and fourth bidding round for DSF blocks. Four other contracts were also signed for bids made for coal bed methane (CBM) blocks.
These DSF and CBM rounds are important in helping India reduce its dependence on imports to bolster its energy security while meeting the energy demand.
This is also in line with the Centre’s thrust to promote domestic oil and gas production through a host of investor friendly policy initiatives to attract new players and expedite the monetization of the hydrocarbon production from these fields.
During the event, the Minister also outlined, and launched the logo for India Energy Week (IEW) 2023, the Ministry’s flagship event taking place from 6th-8th February 2023 in Bengaluru, India.
The ministry expects the event to provide an opportunity for regional and international leaders and CEOs to come together for strategic policy and technical knowledge sharing for energy justice and energy transitions.
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