India produced 34,203 thousand metric tonnes (TMT) of crude oil during 2018-19 (April to March) which is 4.15 per cent below the output in the previous financial year and 7.59 per cent lower than the target, the government said on Thursday.
The production in 2017-18 was 35,684 TMT while the target for 2018-19 was pegged at 37,011 TMT, a statement issued by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas said.
The downward trend in production comes at a time when the United States has said it will no longer grant sanctions waiver to countries like India which import crude oil from Iran from next month.
At the same time, falling domestic crude oil production has pushed up India’s oil import dependence to nearly 84 per cent of the total consumption.
In March alone, the country produced 2,854 TMT of crude oil which is 16 per cent lower when compared to output in March 2018 and nearly 13 per cent below the target. The production in March 2018 was 3,041 TMT while the target for March 2019 was 3,280 TMT, according to the statement.
Crude oil production by ONGC in March was 1,786 TMT and totalled 21,042 TMT in fiscal 2018-19. Oil India Limited (OIL) supplied 278 TMT of crude oil in March and 3,293 TMT in the entire fiscal.
The main reasons for shortfall were low yields leading to closure of about 100 oil wells and miscreant activities in operational areas, the ministry said.
On the other hand, natural gas production totalled 32,873 MMSCM (million metric standard cubic metres) in 2018-19, down 7.6 per cent of the target but up 0.7 per cent compared to production in the previous financial year.
For March alone, the output was 2,816 MMSCM, nearly 9 per cent down from the target but 1.2 per cent higher than in March 2018.