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India’s oil and gas import dependence during April-January at 77.1%

According to a statement issued by the petroleum and natural gas ministry, at present, exploration and production activities are taking place on 275,000 sq.km area on different sedimentary basins across India. (Bloomberg)Premium
According to a statement issued by the petroleum and natural gas ministry, at present, exploration and production activities are taking place on 275,000 sq.km area on different sedimentary basins across India. (Bloomberg)

  • This comes against the backdrop of India looking at private investment to raise domestic oil and gas production, which has stagnated for the last few years

India’s oil and gas import dependence during April-January accounted for meeting 77.1% of the domestic needs.

This comes against the backdrop of India looking at private investment to raise domestic oil and gas production, which has stagnated for the last few years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015 had set a target of reducing India’s oil dependence by 10% to 67% (based on import dependence of 77% in 2014-15) by 2022.

“Government is making all efforts to reduce import dependence. India’s oil and oil-equivalent gas import dependence in 2014-15 and 2015-16 were 68.9% and 72.2%, respectively, and during current April-January, 2020-21 is 77.1%," petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan informed the Lok Sabha on Monday in a written reply, according to a statement from the petroleum and natural gas ministry.

“At present, exploration and production activities are taking place [on] 2,75,000 sq.km area across different sedimentary basins across India," the statement added.

India is particularly vulnerable, as any increase in global prices can affect its import bill, stoke inflation and increase its trade deficit. India spent $101.4 billion on crude oil imports in 2019-20 and $111.9 billion in 2018-19.

This comes against the backdrop of India increasing its oil imports from the US, with the Indian government working on diversifying the country’s energy basket with crude oil supplies from non-Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) sources. Also, India is leaning on its old energy partner Russia to buffer its consumers, with the two countries exploring an approach to protect both the buyer and seller from the sharp volatility in global prices as reported by Mint earlier.

The cost of the Indian basket of crude, which comprises Oman, Dubai and Brent crude, was at $62.67 a barrel on 19 March. Following the covid outbreak, crude prices for Indian basket of crude had plunged to $19.90 in April before recovering to $61.22 a barrel in February, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell showed.

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