NEW DELHI: India’s crude oil production declined three per cent in January 2018 to 2,976.41 thousand metric tonnes (TMT) compared to January 2017 output. The decline comes at a time when demand for crude oil is at an all-time high and oil price continues to hit three-year highs on a regular basis.
Oil production by state-run ONGC stood at 1,836.79 TMT during the month, which is four per cent lower compared to January 2017 production. Oil production by its smaller counterpart OIL increased by four per cent to 285.4 TMT in January against production in the year-ago period. OIL missed its monthly target due to ‘less than planned contribution from old wells’.
Delay in implementation of projects, operational issues like power shutdown and closure of wells in some of ONGC’s fields led to a shortfall in production. “There was a delay in conversion of Sagar Samrat to Mobile Offshore Production Unit Project and also non-realisation of production planned from project Integrated Development of B 127 Cluster’ from October 2017 onwards,” Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas said in its monthly report.
According to a Reuters report published last week, India imported a record 4.93 million barrels of per day (bpd) in January to feed its expanded refining capacity and meet rising demand. India’s oil import bill in January surged 42.6 per cent from a year ago to $11.66 billion.
Not just oil, even natural gas production during January 2018 missed the monthly target by double digits. Gas production in January stood at 2,695 million metric standard cubic metres, which is 11.5 per cent lower than the target for the month and 1.5 per cent lower than January 2017.