New Delhi: State-owned oil major Oil and Natural Gas Corp’s (ONGC) has added a plume to its feather. According to sources, the public sector undertaking’s (PSU) natural gas production has hit an all-time high of about 70 million standard cubic meters per day as it doubles up efforts to raise domestic output to curb imports. ONGC produced about 64 million standard cubic meters per day (mmscmd) of gas in November last year and this year the output is close to touching 70 mmscmd, sources said. Even after one takes internal consumption into account, gas sales hover around 56 mmscmd, marking an all-time high for the oil marketing company (OMC). If ONGC gets market price, its output can increase by 24-25 mmscmd in the next 1-2 years as it will make about 35 billion cubic meters of recoverable reserves in discoveries in the shallow sea off Andhra Pradesh on the east and off Gujarat and Mumbai on the west coast blocks economically viable.
India is looking at increasing consumption of natural gas by more than doubling its share in energy basket to 15 per cent in next few years.
Natural gas is the cleanest burning petroleum-based fuel and has wide applications — from being used to generate electricity to the running of automobiles (CNG) and firing kitchen stoves. As the world seeks a shift towards green energy, natural gas is fast emerging as a primary energy source. For India too, it is turning out to be a viable and clean alternative as the country seeks to cut its dependence on imports for meeting energy needs and also reduce greenhouse emissions. India is looking at increasing consumption of natural gas by more than doubling its share in energy basket to 15 per cent in the next few years. According to sources familiar with the development, ONGC has stepped up its efforts to increase production and make new fields operational after Prime Minister Narendra Modi set a stiff target of reducing oil import dependence by 10 per cent by 2022. India currently imports over 80 per cent of its oil needs.