Mumbai: In the wake of a temporary shortage of cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), state-run oil marketing companies -- Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd -- may ration LPG cylinders to users.

This means, users, holding only one LPG cylinder will be given preference over those having two cylinders.

"Currently, we are not short of LPG. But there is some disruption in supply due to recent issues with ONGC's Uran plant and Saudi Aramco. We are, however, able to service consumer demand. We are giving priority to single bottle users as double bottle users will have spare capacity. We have also arranged for alternative sources for LPG which will reach the Indian shore in a week's time," said a senior LPG official from an oil marketing company.

While a fire at the state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd's processing plant in Uran, Navi Mumbai on 3 September caused disruption in domestic LPG supply, a drone attack on Saudi Aramco's facilities on 11 September added to the supply woes. Saudi Arabia is the second-largest supplier of crude and cooking gas to India and the oil marketing companies together have 273 million LPG customers.

Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals (MRPL), which also supplies LPG, had a few units shut last month due to a minor landslide in the area owing to heavy rains, while private refiners had a maintenance shutdown.

Oil ministry officials assured there would be no shortage of LPG during the upcoming festive season as a fresh cargo from Adnoc would reach the Indian shores soon.

India's demand for LPG has grown significantly since the launch of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) in 2016. LPG penetration in the country has gone up from 62% to around 95% since 2016.

Currently, states, including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab and Goa, could face an LPG supply pinch reportedly due to a booking backlog.

"We had floated a tender and we have received a good response so we have tied up more than required cargoes. Supply from Uran is also expected to be restored before 15 October so there will be no demand-supply gap," said another official from an oil marketing company.

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