India's production of crude oil, which is refined to produce petrol and diesel, continued to decline in November, with lower output from state-owned firms leading to an over 2 per cent drop, official data released on Tuesday showed.
Crude oil production in November was 2.43 million tonnes, down from 2.48 million tonnes a year back and 2.5 million tonnes in October 2021.
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) produced 3 per cent less crude oil at 1.6 million tonnes in November due to delays in mobilising equipment at western offshore fields.
Oil India Ltd (OIL) produced 2,41,420 tonnes of crude oil in November, down from 2,43,200 tonnes a year back and 2,52,990 tonnes in October.
India is 85 per cent dependent on imports to meet its crude oil needs as domestic output is insufficient to meet demand.
During April-November - the first eight months of the current fiscal year - India's crude oil production fell 2.74 per cent to 19.86 million tonnes. ONGC produced 4.18 per cent less oil at 12.94 million tonnes.
Natural gas production was, however, 23 per cent higher at 2.86 billion cubic meters (bcm) in November, mainly due to output from newer fields in the KG-D6 block, operated by Reliance Industries Ltd and BP plc.
ONGC produced 5.28 per cent less gas at 1.72 bcm, while the output from eastern offshore - where KG-D6 is situated - jumped 1,251 per cent to 581.34 million cubic meters.
The data did not give individual field output.
Reliance-BP last year started gas production from newer fields in the KG-D6 block, and such output has contributed to the overall rise in availability in the country.
Delays in the mobilisation of equipment and the start of output from its eastern offshore fields due to COVID-19 impacting supply chains were the main reasons listed for lower output by ONGC.
Gas production in April-November was 21.78 per cent higher at 22.77 bcm. ONGC produced 6.14 per cent less gas at 13.78 bcm, while eastern offshore output jumped 1,163 per cent to 4.46 bcm.
With the economy rebounding from COVID-19 induced slowdown, fuel consumption has been on the rise, leading to higher crude processing at refineries. Refineries processed 3.38 per cent more crude oil at 21.48 million tonnes in November and 11.7 per cent higher in April-November at 155.73 million tonnes.
Refineries operated at 102.7 per cent of their capacity in November as compared to 89.81 per cent a year back. During April-November capacity utilisation was 93.23 per cent as opposed to 83.42 per cent a year back.
(With inputs from IANS)
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