Crude Imports Likely To Touch 85 MT By 2002-03

New Delhi, October 17: | Updated: Oct 18 2002, 05:30am hrs
Crude oil imports are expected to touch 85 million tonne (mt) by the end of this fiscal, according to petroleum secretary, BK Chaturvedi.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Indo-Asean business summit organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), Mr Chaturvedi said, as the consumption demand for petroleum products is growing at 1 per cent rate, we hope to settle around 85 million tonne crude import by this fiscal as against 80 million tonne last fiscal.

Chairman and managing director, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), MS Ramachandran asked for including India in Asean countries project of developing a trans-Asian gas pipeline and highlighted the the need to have a synergy in petroleum research.

A collaborative approach in research will benefit India in finding out a solution to its problem of oil security, he said.

Mr Ramachandran said oil companies from Indonesia and Malaysia can tap excess refining capacity of India, which also offers an instant market for petroleum products.

Current gas consumption rate in India calls for a sustained development focus on gas sector, CMD, Gas Authority of India (Gail) Proshanto Bangerjee said. Terming gas as the future fuel, he said, we need to raise per capita consumption of gas substantially.

Mr Bangerjee said Gail is exploring the idea of a natural green quadrilateral connecting four regions in order to raise the extent of gas consumption in total energy consumption in the country. Share of natural gas in total energy consumption stood at 16 per cent in 1973 which rose to 24 per cent in 2000, he said adding, gas consumption will be around 14 per cent compared to 7 per cent during 1997-98. On his part, ONGC Videsh managing director Atul Chandra said, we look to Asean member counties for future tie-up for picking up equity oil in Russia and Middle-East.