About 35 per cent of work on the underground cavern project of Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve Limited (ISPRL) in Mangalore has been completed, Mohandas Kamath, Director (Projects, NIG and Rich Infrastructure Private Limited), has said.

He was speaking on “ISPRL's crude oil storage cavern project” at a programme hosted by the Institution of Engineers (India), Mangalore Local Chapter, here on Tuesday.

The first stage of the project is on. Work on the three-stage project began in April 2008.

He said the underground cavern project was for strategic storage of crude oil, required to provide supplies during emergencies.

It could store crude oil to meet the country's demand for 15 days in case of an emergency. It assumed significance because India would depend on oil imports for 92 per cent of its crude oil needs by 2020, and because of the volatility in West Asia, he said.