Domestic crude oil production down 6.3% in August, natural gas output dropps 9.5%
NEW DELHI: Domestic production of crude oil in August fell 6.3% from a year earlier while natural gas output dropped 9.5%.
Crude oil output fell to 2.6 million metric tonnes in August, driven by a 17.5% contraction in production from the fields operated by the private sector and 11.4% drop in Oil India NSE -2.10 % fields. Output from ONGC NSE -1.70 % fields was nearly flat.
The near-absence of new producing fields and slow efforts at enhancing recovery from ageing fields have weighed on the country's oil production for years. With a big dip in private sector fields lately, the overall output contraction appears to be sharper this financial year at 6.1%. The contribution from fields operated by the private sector in overall oil production has dropped to 24.3% this year from 27.6% last year.
Natural gas output is also struggling with 9.5% drop in August from a year earlier and 13.2% fall during April-August. Some fields are unable to raise output due to technical difficulties while some private sector fields slated to begin production this year are facing delays due to the pandemic.
Local refineries processed 26.4% less crude oil in August compared to the same month last year. Between April-June, the crude processed was 22.4% lower than last year. Falling domestic fuel demand and an oversupplied export market forced many refiners to cut runs in August but domestic demand is again looking up and capacity utilisation is beginning to increase at refineries.
Petroleum products’ import rose 1.5% while their export fell 13.5% in August from a year earlier.
The Economic Times 23-09-2020