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Domestic cooking gas demand spikes in April during lockdown

Nagaon: People stand in queues maintaining social distancing to collect  LPG cylinders during a nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, at Samaguri in Nagaon District, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (PTI Photo)(PTI21-04-2020_000069B) (PTI)Premium
Nagaon: People stand in queues maintaining social distancing to collect LPG cylinders during a nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, at Samaguri in Nagaon District, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (PTI Photo)(PTI21-04-2020_000069B) (PTI)

  • IOC’s LPG sale during 1-20 April was 696.6TMT, up by over 19.6% compared to the same period last year
  • The country has been in a lockdown since 25 March, with its 1.3 billion population cooped indoors

NEW DELHI : India’s domestic cooking gas demand during the nationwide lockdown has spiked, with state-run Indian Oil Corp. Ltd (IOC) registering a 20% jump in liquified petroleum gas (LPG) sales in April.

“The corporation’s LPG sale during April 1-20, 2020 was 696.6 thousand metric tonnes (TMT), up by over 19.6% compared to the same period last year," IOC, India’s largest refiner, said in a statement on Tuesday.

This comes in the backdrop of India rolling out a 1.7 trillion relief package, which included providing 83 million below poverty line (BPL) families with free cooking gas cylinders for three months under the Ujjwala scheme.

While refiners have slashed production due to reduced demand for transportation fuels, there has been an increase in demand for domestic cooking gas. India is the world’s third-largest oil importer and the fourth-largest buyer of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

“To meet this rise in demand, Indian Oil has tied up additional LPG imports by almost 50%, and its 98 LPG bottling plants are working for extended hours, operating night shifts and on public holidays/Sundays. With its LPG distribution channels, particularly the delivery staff, working round-the-clock, Indian Oil teams have been delivering on an average 26 lakh cylinders every day to the doorsteps of customers in spite of the lockdown," the IOC statement added.

Given the growing LPG demand, India has leveraged its energy security relationship with West Asian nations, with Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (Adnoc), the state-run oil company of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), helping India meet its cooking gas demand.

“Additionally, the corporation has ensured delivery of LPG cylinders to 1.1 Cr. families who are Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) beneficiaries, during this period," the IOC statement added. IOC processes 80 million tonnes of crude oil annually and pays around 3 trillion to procure the supplies.

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