NEW DELHI: To secure India's energy economy against supply and price fluctuations globally, an additional funding of over Rs.1,150 crore is being provided for the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd.(ISPRL).
Through supplementary demands for grant presented to parliament earlier this week, union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley sought an allocation of Rs.1,153 crore for buying crude oil to fill the first strategic crude oil reserve being built at Visakhapatnam by ISPRL.
India plans for a strategic reserve that could hold up to 1.3 million tonnes of crude oil.
Under this plan, the government would set up a Strategic Crude Oil Storage of about 5.33 million tonnes at two other locations in the country -- Mangalore (1.5 million tonnes) and Padur (2.5 million tonnes) in the first phase.
The Mangalore and Padur projects, both on the western coast of Karnataka, are nearly complete, awaiting pipeline connections from the nearest ports.
A second phase is also under planning, which seeks to create 12.5 million tonnes storage capacity at Padur, Chandikhol (Odisha), Bikaner (Rajasthan) and Rajkot (Gujarat).
While India currently imports about 80 percent of its oil requirements, the International Energy Agency predicts that by 2020, India could become the world's largest oil importer.
The current slump in oil prices that have been in steady fall since the later half of last year, is considered an opportune time to build up strategic oil reserves.
The India basket of crude oil fell this week to levels around $52 for a barrel of nearly 160 litres.