Domestic crude oil production in India declined by 1.2 per cent in HI of the current fiscal from the same period a year ago due to fall in output by oil exploration and production major -- ONGC, an economic think-tank said in its report.

“Domestic crude oil production fell by 1.2 per cent to 166 lakh tonnes in the first half of 2009-10 as compared to a year ago. A fall in oil output by ONGC dragged down the production,” Centre for Monitoring India Economy (CMIE) said in its latest report on the state of Indian economy.

State-run ONGC accounts for two-thirds of domestic oil production.

“ONGC recorded a 3.7 per cent decline in production to 123.7 lakh tonnes, largely due to a natural decline in its output from its maturing oil fields,” the report said.

The report, however, sounded optimistic for the remaining part of the current fiscal and forecast an upward trend in the oil output on the back of production from Cairn India’s Mangala oilfields.

“In the second-half of 2009-10, we expect oil output to accelerate. Production from Cairn India’s Mangala Oilfield will contribute to this growth,” CMIE said.

Oil production from Rajasthan’s Mangala field, which promises to provide almost 25 per cent of India’s domestic crude production, has already touched the 20,000 barrels per day mark.

According to CMIE, the natural gas output was higher by 28.2 per cent in the first-half of 2009-10 as compared to a year ago.

“The increase in production from RIL’s KG D6 basin contributed to the higher output,” CMIE said.

RIL ramped up output from KG basin to 40-mmscmd (Million Metric Standard Cubic Meter Per Day) in September 2009, the report said, adding the production from the KG basin accounts for 30 per cent of domestic gas output in the country.

The refinery throughput also fell by 3.6 per cent at 779.9 lakh tonnes during this period (first-half of the current fiscal) as compared to production in the year-ago period, CMIE said.

The refinery capacity utilisation also reduced to 104.4 per cent from 108.3 per cent.

“The fall in throughput was due to maintenance shutdown during April-September 2009 by refineries like Reliance Industries, Essar Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Indian Oil,” the CMIE report said.

However, there was a decent three per cent year-on-year growth in throughput in the two months ended September, CMIE said, adding, “We expect growth to sustain in the second-half of 2009-10. Throughput from refineries like Reliance Industries, Essar Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum will sustain a healthy growth.”

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