Steps are being taken to enhance oil and gas production to reduce crude oil imports, which has accounted for 82 per cent of the total domestic consumption this fiscal, the government said today. Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said the target is to reduce energy imports by 10 per cent by 2021-22. To reduce imports to meet the energy needs, the government has “taken several steps to enhance exploration and production of oil and gas in the country,” he told the Lok Sabha during Question Hour. In the current fiscal till January, the share of imported crude on the basis of domestic consumption stood at 82 per cent. Last financial year, the same was at 80.9 per cent, as per figures provided by the Minister in a written reply. Over the last three financial years, the amount of imported crude has been on the rise. In 2013-14, it stood at 77.6 per cent and rose to 78.5 per cent in 2014-15.
Most of crude oil production in the country is from ageing fields in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and offshore areas, he said. While noting that the highest number of oil wells are shut in Gujarat and Assam, the Minister also said that oil companies are implementing new technologies to enhance recovery from ageing fields. “The oil companies have taken/are taking several measures to revive the sick wells to increase oil production, such as improved Oil Recovery/Enhanced Oil Recovery schemes,” he said.
Pradhan assured that there would be no conflict between oil and gas production and agriculture farming while responding to queries about environmental concerns related to a project in Tamil Nadu. The first starred question of the day was from Yogi Adityanath, who took over as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday. He was not present in the House. Before giving replies to supplementaries, Pradhan congratulated Adityanath for becoming the chief minister. Some BJP members also congratulated Adityanath, who is an MP from Gorakhpur.