The oil and gas industry has been instrumental in fuelling the rapid growth of the Indian economy. India has total reserves (proved & indicated) of 1,201 million metric tonnes (MMT) of crude oil and 1,437 billion cubic metres (BCM) of natural gas as on April 1, 2010, according to the basic statistics released by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. The country exported 50.974 MMT of petroleum products during 2009-10.
In the eighth round of the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP-VIII), 1.62 sq km area will be covered comprising 70 blocks. Out of 70 blocks, 36 have been awarded under NELP-VIII, according to the Economic Survey 2009-10.
Mr Murli Deora, Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas has launched the ninth round of NELP (NELP-IX) in New Delhi on October 15, 2010. NELP-IX round offers 34 exploration blocks comprising of 8 deepwater blocks, 7 shallow water blocks and 19 onland blocks.
Moreover, the government is planning its first ever offer of shale gas exploration in 2012. According to Mr Deora, "Shale gas (gas locked in sedimentary rocks) is an emerging area. It has become an important source of energy in a few countries who have been able to commercially exploit this resource."
By the end of the Eleventh Plan, the refinery capacity is expected to reach 240.96 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA).
As per Mr Jitin Prasada, Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas, the refining capacity of the oil refineries in the country has undergone nearly a three-fold increase from 62 MMTPA in April, 1998 to 184 MMTPA in April, 2010.
According to the provisional data released by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, dated November 26, 2010:
The consumption of petroleum products during 2009-10 were 138.196 MMT (including sales through private imports) an increase of 3.60 per cent over sales of 133.4 MMT during 2008-09, according to the Ministry of Petroleum.
According to estimates of the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC), the consumption of fuels in the current financial year (2010-11) will be at 146.08 million tonne (MT) up from 138.2 MT in the last fiscal.
The estimates show that diesel consumption in the current fiscal may see an increase of 8.8 per cent at 61.26 MT compared with 56.3 MT in the last fiscal, while petrol sales were expected to go up by 12.8 per cent to 14.45 MT from 12.8 MT.