India's crude output slips 6.3% in May, ONGC reports drop due to cyclone Tauktae/Representational Image
India's crude output slips 6.3% in May, ONGC reports drop due to cyclone Tauktae/Representational Image
Zukiman Mohamad

India's crude oil output fell 6.3 per cent in May after state-owned ONGC produced nearly a tenth less due to cyclone 'Tauktae', government data showed on Tuesday.

Crude oil production at 2.43 million tonne in May was 6.32 per cent lower than 2.6 million tonne output in the same month last year, according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), the nation's biggest producer, reported a massive 9.63 per cent drop in output at 1.5 million tonne "due to conditions created by cyclone Tauktae", it said.

Severe cyclone Tauktae slammed the western coast last month disrupting economic activity. ONGC's main oil and gas producing fields are in western offshore.

ONGC also produced over 9 per cent less natural gas but ramping up of output from the KG-D6 block of Reliance Industries Ltd and BP helped lift overall production.

The nation's gas production rose 19 per cent to 2.74 billion cubic meters on the back of a 10 times rise in output from eastern offshore, where the KG-D6 block is situated.

Reliance-BP has put into production the second wave of discoveries in the KG-D6 block, helping raise overall output.

"Increase in gas production is through contributions from D-34 field of KG-DWN-98/3 (KG-D6) which commenced from December 18, 2020 (and) wells from satellite cluster (commenced with effect from April 25, 2021)," explanatory notes to the data said.

ONGC's gas production at 1.64 bcm was 9.08 per cent lower than the previous year. This is because of "reduced gas production in western offshore due to cyclone Taukate" and less production from eastern offshore fields.

As demand picked up with easing of COVID restrictions, refineries processed 16 per cent more crude oil in May at about 19 million tonne.

While public sector refiners raised processing of crude oil into fuel by over a fifth, private sector Reliance and Nayara Energy processed nearly 5 per cent more crude.

Public sector refineries operated at 91 per cent of their capacity in May while Reliance's only-for-exports unit at Jamnagar in Gujarat operated at 83.7 per cent capacity. Reliance's other unit which caters to domestic needs operated at 101.7 per cent capacity. Nayara operated its Vadinar refinery at 99.5 per cent capacity.

All the refineries put together produced 19.9 million tonne of petroleum products, 15.3 per cent more than the same month last year.

India was under complete lockdown during May last year.

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