New Delhi: India, Asia’s third-biggest oil user, increased crude-oil production by 1.4% in April as output rose from the nation’s largest field. Companies, including Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC), India’s biggest oil explorer, pumped 2.79 million tonnes (mt) of crude oil last month compared with 2.75mt a year earlier, the oil ministry said in a statement in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Output from ONGC’s Mumbai High fields gained 4.1% to 1.47mt last month. The fields, 100 miles northwest of Mumbai in the Arabian Sea, account for more than half of India’s annual oil production.
Crude oil production by non-state-owned explorers, such as Cairn Energy Plc., climbed 5% to 414,000 tonnes in April, the statement said.
India’s natural gas output fell 4.7% to 2.55 billion cubic metres last month, it said.
On the downstream side, Indian Oil Corp., the nation’s biggest refiner, and rivals, including Bharat Petroleum Corp., processed 15% more crude oil in April.
Refiners processed 12.53mt of oil, or 250,000 barrels a day, into fuels last month compared with 10.88 mt a year earlier, the statement added.
The government estimates that the country grew 9.2% in the year ended 31 March 2007, the fastest pace in almost two decades, boosting demand for automobiles and motor fuels. Output at Indian Oil rose 28% last month to 4.01mt from a year earlier. Bharat Petroleum Corp., the No. 3 state-run refiner, processed 1.6mt, 7.3% more than a year ago, the ministry said.
Production at Reliance Industries, which operates the world’s third-biggest refinery, remained unchanged at 3.03mt in April, while Hindustan Petroleum Corp., the nation’s second-biggest state refiner, processed 1.25 mt of oil, 10% less than a year earlier, the ministry said.