India November crude oil output rises, natural gas falls

12/24/2012

India November crude oil output rises, natural gas falls

BY SAURABH CHATURVEDI

NEW DELHI -- India's crude-oil production rose by a marginal 0.8% from a year earlier in November, while natural-gas output continued its declining trend, underlining the South Asian nation's struggles in maintaining production at its ageing fields and its increasing dependence on imports.

Crude output rose to 3.11 mt (759,115 bopd), oil ministry data showed. It, however, missed the government's target of 3.33 million tons.

At state-run ONGC, output fell 4.1% from a year earlier to 1.86 million tons, hurt by high water content in its production and power shutdown at fields in Gujarat. Also, efforts to boost output at the company's main Mumbai High offshore field didn't yield expected results.

ONGC's crude production has been declining for years now. Mumbai High has been in production for several decades and is showing signs of natural decline, while the company hasn't been able to bring any new major fields into production.

India imports about 80% of the crude oil it requires.

India's natural-gas output dropped for the 24th month in a row in November, falling 15.2% from a year earlier to 3.26 Bcm and missing the government's estimate of 3.43 Bcm. The fall was led by lower output at Reliance Industries' block off the east coast.

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