New Delhi: The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) has set a production target of 50 billion cubic metres (BCM) of gas and 40 million tonnes (MT) of crude oil by FY24 for oil and gas companies, an exploration and production action plan 2023-24 prepared by the DGH showed. To set the figures in perspective, India's domestic natural gas production was at 28.6 BCM and crude oil production was at 30.5 MT in FY21. The action plan prepared by the DGH was reviewed by Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on June 11.
At the meeting, Pradhan encouraged oil PSUs and E&P operators to accelerate exploration and production activities by greater use of technology and geo-scientific data. He also assured all support to the operators in boosting domestic production of oil and gas for a secure energy future.
India currently imports over 50 percent of its natural gas requirements and around 85 percent of its crude oil requirements. In the backdrop of a surge in global crude oil prices in the wake of OPEC's decision to stick to the existing pace of gradually easing supply curbs through July, the Centre has asked Indian oil marketing companies (OMCs) to look at alternate geographies for import of crude oil. The vagaries of the global crude oil market have caused the Centre to admit the urgency with which India's energy security needs to be pursued. Resultantly, the government has placed a lot of focus on increasing domestic production of both crude oil and natural gas and shift towards a gas-based economy, since natural gas is a relatively cleaner fuel in comparison to petrol and diesel.
The news comes just days after Pradhan launched round-3 of Discovered Small Fields (DSF) auctions. Speaking on the occasion, the minister spelled out his plan for to monetise major idle fields of state-run Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) and bring in private players into the E&P sector to raise India's domestic production.
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