Crude oil and natural gas production in 2012-13 were 0.6 per cent and 14.5 per cent less respectively compared to the previous fiscal. The refineries turned in a better performance with their cumulative 181 million tonnes crude throughput, almost 7 per cent more than the previous fiscal’s achievement and a little over 2 per cent of the planned target.

Provisional figures for the fiscal, released on Thursday by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, show public and private/joint venture companies’ crude oil production was 37.864 million tonnes as against the 2011-12 achievement of 38.089 million tonnes. The planned target for 2012-13 was 40.046 million tonnes.

The decline in natural gas production (to 40,676 million cubic metres) was a steep 14.5 per cent, while last month alone it was 17.7 per cent less. The planned target was 41,309 million cubic metres. Such a performance was not totally unexpected since the output from KG basin operated by Reliance Industries continued to fall. For private/JV companies, natural gas production was 32.9 per cent less than the 2011-12 achievement.

The reasons for the shortfall in crude and natural gas production in the eastern offshore-KG-DWN-98/3 fields, were water/sand ingress blocking the flow from nine wells in D1, D3 and two wells in MA. Elsewhere in the eastern offshore, the production gain was less than expected due to water loading in PY-1 while PY-3 field remained completely shutdown since July 30, 2011, after expiry of the contract for existing production facilities.

The reasons attributed by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation for the relatively less crude oil production at Mumbai High Offshore included a less than anticipated oil gain from new development wells.

For Oil India, the shortfall in crude oil production from Assam and Arunachal Pradesh fields was a consequential effect of bandhs and blockades in the past several months.

This report has been corrected for factual errors in the figures for crude oil production.