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India’s crude oil production in April falls as private players slip

India’s crude oil output fell 1% in April after lower production from privately operated fields wiped out gains from state-owned companies such as the ONGC, official data showed on 24 may. India produced 2.47 million tonnes (MT) of crude oil in April, compared to 2.5 MT in the same month last year, according to data released by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) produced 1.65 MT of crude oil in April, nearly 5% above target and 0.86% above the 1.63 MT produced last year . Oil India Ltd (OIL) produced 3.6% more crude at 2,51,460 tonnes, but privately operated fields produced 7.5% less crude at 5,67,570 tonnes.

The government has focused on increasing domestic oil and gas production to reduce dependence on imports. India imports 85% of its oil needs and about half of its natural gas needs.

Natural gas production rose 6.6% to 2.82 billion cubic meters thanks to higher production from the eastern offshore – home to block KG-D6 of Reliance Industries Ltd and BP plc.

ONGC produced 1% less natural gas to 1.72 bcm, while Eastern offshore production jumped 43% to 0.6 bcm, the data showed. The data gave no output per field.

With demand returning, refineries processed 8.5% more crude oil to 21.6 MT in April. Public sector refineries processed 12.8% more crude into fuel, while crude throughput from private and joint sector units was 1.8% higher. Refineries produced 9% more petroleum products at 22.8 MT in April. Fuel production from public sector units increased by nearly 12% to 13 million tonnes, while private sector units recorded 7% higher production to 9.6 MT.

Refineries operated at 104.5% of their installed capacity to meet fuel demand in April.

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