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This year, public sector alone posted India's highest natural gas output in 3 years

PW Bureau

Data showed that the country produced 30,057 Million Standard Cubic Meter (MMSCM) of natural gas in the period between April and February in the current financial year New Delhi: According to data sourced from the oil ministry, India recorded its highest output of natural gas in three years in the first 11 months of the current fiscal. Data showed that the country produced 30,057 Million Standard Cubic Meter (MMSCM) of natural gas in the period between April and February in the current financial year, as opposed to 29,867 MMSCM of natural gas in the corresponding period last fiscal. In the month of February, total gas output rose 3.29 percent from 2,484 MMSCM in the corresponding month last year to 2,565 MMSCM this year. However, if one looks at the natural gas output figures from the last year, the production in the April-February period jumped by a mere 0.64 percent. The oil ministry attributed the rise to increased production from state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).

ONGC

Last month, ONGC’s natural gas production rose by 8.54 percent to settle at 1,954 MMSCM mainly because of increased output from fields in Tripura, Eastern Offshore and Western Offshore. The state-owned company's total gas production in the April-February period went up by 5.25 percent to 22,540 MMSCM.

Oil India

The total gas output by Oil India Ltd (OIL), the second-largest state-run oil and gas explorer, on the other hand, dipped by 2.69 percent to 204 MMSCM in February. The ministry said that reduced output from fields in Deohal area of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh were primarily responsible for the dip.

Private sector

The private sector fared worse than the public sector as natural gas production from fields operated by private players or joint ventures decreased by 14 percent to 408 MMSCM in February. A statement released by the ministry said that it was mainly due to drop in production from Rajasthan blocks, a Coal Bed Methane (CBM) block in West Bengal apart from Eastern Offshore and Western Offshore fields. The total gas production by private and JV firms in the first 11-month period decreased 13.25 percent to 5,031 MMSCM. The ministry said that production from Reliance Industries Limited's Sohagpur West CBM block had gone down due to an increase in the number of wells requiring work-over. Also, 36 development wells in the block were still under de-watering phase awaiting gas breakout. These factors, therefore, hit the overall output by the private sector. Another reason for reduced gas production was a delay in the upgrade of Cairn Oil and Gas’ Mangala Processing Terminal (MPT) and delay in drilling, completion and hooking up online of 45 infill wells.