India refinery output rises 6.6% in April

India refinery output rises 6.6% in April

New Delhi: Output at Indian refiners rose an annual 6.6% in April, its fifth consecutive monthly rise but the pace of growth slowed from March as crude processing at private refineries dipped.

Domestic refiners processed 1.4 million tonnes or 3.42 million barrels per day (bpd) oil in April 2011, when combined crude throughput of private refineries was down 1.7% from a year ago, government data showed on Wednesday.

Reliance Industries , whose two refineries at Jamnagar in western Gujarat state account for about a third of India’s refining capacity, does not report data for its 580,000 bpd export-focused plant to the government.

Output at Reliance’s bigger 660,000 bpd plant fell an annual 2.3% during the month while that of Essar Oil’s 280,000 bpd Vadinar refinery, also in Gujarat, declined 0.2% from a year ago.

The government statement did not specify any reason for the lower crude processing by private refiners.

A trade source said Reliance’s throughput was down as it had done cleaning work at drums linked to its giant coker without fully shutting down the unit.

Throughput of state refiners rose an annual 10.4% in April when global refining margins eased and Indian fuel demand rose an annual 4.2%.

The data also does not include crude processing by 120,000 bpd Bina refinery in central India.

The country’s crude oil output during the month rose 11% to 778,400 bpd, still a fraction of the overall needs of the world’s fourth-biggest crude importer.

Natural gas output declined 9.3% to about 4.1 billion cubic metres in April from a year ago as output from the Reliance-operated D6 block in the east coast declined after touching about 60 million cubic metres per day.