The domestic production of crude and natural gas remained below pre-Covid levels in February, according to data released by the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell. Crude production during February was 2.32 million tonnes, 3.22 per cent lower on a year-on-year basis. At 2,307.12 MMSCM, gas production was also down 1.43 per cent.
ONGC’s crude production in February stood at 1.5 million tonnes, 8 per cent lower on a year-on-year basis. The firm’s gas production, at 1,630.2 MMSCM, was also down 13 per cent on a year-on-year basis. In a statement on Friday, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas blamed the shortfall in the firm’s production on disruptions caused due to Covid-19.
The domestic production of oil and gas has remained below pre-Covid levels throughout the ongoing financial year. Cumulative crude and gas production during April-February, 2020-21, has been 5.41 per cent and 9.67 per cent lower, respectively, on a year-on-year basis. As consumption has fallen amid historically high retail fuel prices, the country’s imports have also remained lower than pre-Covid levels. In February, India imported 15.2 million tonnes of crude, a fall of 18.3 per cent on a year-on-year basis.
Following the oil producing nations’ decision to restrict supply, the climb in international crude prices has pinched Indian refiners. The country paid $434 per tonne of crude in February, about 5 per cent higher on a year-on-year basis.
Cumulatively, however, during the April-February period of the ongoing financial year, India imported 178.1 million tonnes of crude at a rate of $302 per tonne. This price is 35 per cent lower than what India paid during the same duration of the previous financial year, when it had imported 207.4 million tonnes of crude at a rate of $461 per tonne.