India’s January crude processing scales over 1-year peak
India’s crude oil processing registered its second straight year-on-year gain in January, while hitting a more than one-year high, as fuel demand improved on the back of a gradual increase in industrial and economic activity.
Crude oil throughput in January rose 0.6% year on year to 5.16 million barrels per day (21.81 million tonnes), the highest since November 2019, provisional government data showed on Friday.
Throughput was also up 3.8% from the previous month.
India's factory activity expanded at its strongest pace in three months in January, fuelled by a continued recovery in demand and output, according to a private survey.
However, an uptick in global oil prices posed a roadblock to the gradual recovery in demand.
Indian refiners operated at an average rate of 102.8% in January, slightly up from 102.6% in the same month last year and above December's 99.1%, the government data showed.
Refineries can operate at more than their usual capacity through technical alterations.
The country's largest refiner, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) , last month operated its directly owned plants at 106.1% capacity, the data showed.
Reliance NSE 0.61 %, owner of the world's biggest refining complex, operated its plants at 96.1% capacity in January.
India will be the main driver of rising demand for energy over the next two decades and is set to overtake the European Union as the world's third-biggest energy consumer by 2030, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said earlier this month.
On an annual basis, the country's crude oil production fell by 4.6% to 2.57 million tonnes (610,000 barrels per day), while natural gas output fell 2.2% to 2.55 billion cubic metres, the data showed.
The Economic Times 20-02-2021