The news comes at a time when India is desperately trying to cut its growing oil import bill and its reliance on imported crude oil.
What does the ministry have to say about it?
The ministry attributed the decline in domestic production to three major reasons — fall in production from western offshore fields operated by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC); fall in production from onshore fields operated by Oil India; and reduced production from onshore and offshore fields operated by private players and joint venture (JV) operators.
How did ONGC fare?
India’s largest oil and gas producer, ONGC, saw its Crude output declining by 6 percent to 1,768.17 TMT in March 2019. Cumulatively, the state-owned enterprise’s oil production in FY19 declined 5.42 percent to 21,042 TMT. The decline in production was attribute to electric submersible pump problems in some wells of NBP field in western offshore, loss from WO-16 fields in the absence of mobile offshore production unit Sagar Samrat, sub-sea leakage in well fluid lines of Mumbai High and Neelam Heera Asset, reduced Enhanced Oil Recovery effect in Santhal and Balol fields in Mehsana, and less than planned realisation from development wells in Geleki and Demualgaon fields in Assam Asset.
Oil India Limited (OIL), on the other hand, recorded a 1.22 percent dip to 278.10 TMT in March 2019. The company’s overall crude oil production in the last fiscal year went down by 2.46 percent to 3,293.13 TMT. The decline is attributed to loss of production from bandh and miscreant activities in operational areas as well as the less than planned contribution from work-over wells and drilling wells.
Production by private operators
Private and joint venture operators saw their crude oil production declining by 8.28 percent to 808.04 TMT in March 2019, as compared to 881 TMT produced in the corresponding month a year ago. Cumulative production during FY18-19 fell 2 percent to 9,868 TMT, as compared to 10,059 TMT produced in FY18.
The decline in production was attributed to loss from the Mangala field, which was because of delay in upgrading the Mangala Processing Terminal (MPT). Other reasons included delays in drilling, completion and linking of Cairn Oil and Gas’ 45 infill wells online; closure of 100 oil wells due to liquid handling constraint at MPT plant; and pump failure, surface facility limitation at Cairn Oil and Gas’ asset.