India’s crude oil production is likely to jump by 11 per cent this fiscal to touch the highest-ever mark of 36.7 million tonnes, mostly on the back of output from Cairn India’s prolific Rajasthan oil field, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora said today.
Addressing the Economic Editors Conference here, he said crude oil production will rise to 36.708 million tonnes in 2009-10 fiscal from 33.5 million tonnes a year ago.
“It is also projected that the production of natural gas during the current financial year should reach 50.211 billion cubic meters, which is 52.8 per cent higher than 32.874 bcm of the previous year,” the minister said.
Cairn, which began crude oil production from the Barmer district field on August 29, is currently producing about 10,000 barrels per day of oil and peak output of 8.75 million tonnes is envisaged in 2012.
The increase of about 3.2 million tonnes in crude oil production in 2009-10 is from Rajasthan (2.4 million tonnes) and Reliance Industries’ KG deep water field (0.8 million tonnes). Gas output is higher because of RIL’s KG D-6 fields that is currently producing around 45 million standard cubic meters per day.
“This has been a landmark year for additional production of oil and gas,” he said.
Deora said international crude oil rates continue to be volatile - they were USD 44 per barrel in January and were USD 76 a barrel last week.
“With the World outlook recovering from the recession of the last year, we can expect global demand and even prices of crude oil may rise. We have to ensure uninterrupted supply of sensitive petroleum products in the country to support steady growth of the economy as well as to meet requirements of the common man.
“I may mention that even though there had been substantial increase in international crude oil prices during last year, the Government has not passed on the the burden to the common man,” he said.
Retail price of petrol today are lower than that in June 2006. “On June 6, 2006, the price of petrol was Rs 47.51 per litre and today it is lower at Rs 44.72 per litre. The prices of diesel, PDS kerosene and Domestic LPG are almost the same.”
The price of Kerosene has remained unchanged at Rs 9 per litre during the last 5 years while the price of Domestic LPG cylinder at Rs 281.20 per cylinder is cheaper than the June, 2006 rate of Rs 294.75 per cylinder, he said.
“The Government decided not to pass on the full impact of the global prices that even reached USD 142 per barrel in July 2008, to protect the interest of the common man and provide petroleum products at affordable rates,” he said, adding state-run oil firms lost Rs 15,856 crore in revenues on selling petrol, diesel, domestic LPG and kerosene below cost.
State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and other public and private firms have made 15 new discoveries this fiscal, which will increase the availability of hydrocarbons in the country.
Deora said the recently concluded 8th round of bidding for oil and gas blocks under New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) attracted USD 1.34 billion investment in 36 areas that were bid.
The total committed investment during the previous seven NELP rounds was about USD 10 billion.