India's oil, gas production rise marginally

Wednesday, 21 April 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: India's oil production in 2003-04 rose to about one percent to 33.83 million tonnes, up from 33.04 million tonnes in the previous year, the petroleum ministry said Tuesday.

The actual production was however lower than the target of 33.49 million tonnes.

India's natural gas production also rose 1.8 percent during the year from 31.39 million cubic metres to 31.95 million cubic meters, the official statement said.

In the last five years, India has considerably stepped up exploration and production activities to boost indigenous production to reduce dependence on imports.

Some of the recent oil and gas discoveries in the country, along with efforts to redevelop existing fields, have raised expectations of India being able to further raise domestic crude production.

According to the petroleum ministry data, while onshore crude production dipped marginally by 0.1 percent, the offshore production rose by 1.6 percent during 2003-04 to 21.92 million tonnes from 21.57 million tonnes in the previous year.

The 2003-04 fiscal saw India's refinery capacity rising from 114.67 million tonnes to 118.46 million tonnes.

During the year, India's 17 state-owned refineries and one private sector refinery of Reliance together processed 121.77 million tonnes of crude, with some of the refineries surpassing installed capacities to help achieve 102.8 percent capacity utilisation.

In 2002-03, the total cumulative production of the 18 refineries in the country had been 112.56 million tonnes.

Taking advantage of the appreciating rupee against the dollar, which made imports cheaper despite volatile prices and rendered exports competitive, Indian energy majors were able to export petroleum products to shore up profits.

Source: IANS
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