India's crude oil production fell 2.67 percent in the fiscal year ending March 31, as state-owned ONGC produced less than the target, but natural gas output rose, helped by KG production by Reliance-BP. Crude oil production, at 29.69 million tonnes (MT) in 2021-22 (April 2020 to March 2022), was 2.63 percent lower than the 30.5 million tonnes output a year back and 11.67 percent below the target of 33.61 million tonnes, according to official data released by the oil ministry.
India's crude oil production has been on a decline during the past few years. From 35.7 million tonnes in 2017-18, it fell to 34.2 million tonnes in the following year and 32.2 MT in 2019-20 and 30.5 million tonnes in 2020-21. The primary reason for the decline is the ageing fields, where natural production decline has set in. The output is being maintained by investing in technologies to boost the recovery rate.
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) produced 19.45 million tonnes of crude oil in fiscal FY22, which was 13.82 percent lower than the target and 3.62 percent less than the output in the previous fiscal year. This was due to less-than-anticipated production from the WO-16 cluster in the western offshore due to delay in mobilisation of a production unit and less oil in the NBP field due to an inspection-related shutdown, it said.
Natural gas output, however, rose 18.66 percent to 34 billion cubic meters in FY22. This is after Reliance Industries Ltd and its partner BP Plc started output from newer fields in the eastern offshore KG-D6 block.
Five-times higher output from the eastern offshore, at 1.34 bcm, offset a 5.7 percent decline in production by ONGC. With demand returning with a rebound in economic activity, refineries processed 9 percent more crude oil at 241.7 million tonnes in the 2021-22 fiscal.
They produced 254.3 MT of petroleum products, up from 233.5 MT a year back and the target of 249.8 MT for the fiscal. Refinery run was 89 percent of the capacity in the fiscal, the data showed.