Monday, February 16, 2009

112 oil and gas discoveries in four years: President

The UPA government's focus on increased exploration..... read below

12 Feb 2009, 1234 hrs IST, PTI

NEW DELHI: The UPA government's focus on increased exploration and turning the nation into a refining hub has seen a record number of oil and gas discoveries and a phenomenal 20 per cent jump in crude processing capacity in the past four years. In her customary address to the joint sitting of Parliament at the beginning of the Budget session, President Pratibha Patil said significant increase in refining capacity, which has quadrupled fuel exports to $ 26.8 bn in 2007-08. "During the last four years, 112 oil and gas discoveries have been made, significant amongst them being the discovery of gas for the first time in the ultra deep-water areas," she said. The President, however, did not name state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) for the Krishna Godavari basin UD-1 discovery, the lone ultra deepsea well that may hold up to 2 trillion cubic feet of in-place gas reserves. Refining capacity has increased from 127.36 million ton on April 1, 2004 to 179.5 million tons currently, turning the nation into a major export hub in the region. "The refining capacity has significantly increased and our exports of petroleum products have quadrupled from USD 6.6 bn in 2004-05 to USD 26.8 billion," she said. India is 76 per cent dependent on imports to meet its energy needs and fuel export revenues brings down crude import bill.

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