An Overview

Petrol station
A petrol station in downtown Kolkata. There were over 60 000 fuel retail outlets (Oct 2017) across India, the majority of which are run by public sector oil companies. Indian Oil, BPCL and HPCL manage over 55 000 retail outlets. Numaligarh Refinery operates ca 80 retail outlets. The private sector and multinationals (such as Esso and Caltex) were banned to operate in the fuel retail sector from 1976 till 2002. Newcomers since 2002 include Reliance (ca 1 350 outlets), Essar (3 980 outlets) and Shell.

India's estimated reserves of oil amounted to over 600 million tons in 2016 mainly in offshore oil fields in the Arabian Sea and Assam. India imports around 75 % of its total oil consumption. Public sector companies dominate the oil and gas sector. A few private sector companies such as RIL, RPL and Essar are investing heavily in the oil and gas sector. RIL's existing 34 MMTPA Jamnagar (Gujarat) oil refinery is the fifth largest in the world while RPL's new refinery, the sixth largest refinery in the world and located also in Jamnagar, was commissioned in 2008. India produced approx. 36 million tonnes of crude oil during 2016-17. Two-thirds of the oil produced in India's is drilled from offshore fields. Onshore oil is mainly produced in Assam and Gujarat. RIL and RPL announced a merger of the two companies in March '09. This would make the company the 13th largest oil refinerer in the world. Indian Oil, India's second largest oil refining company, is ranked 19th globally. India exported over 59 MMT of petroleum products valued at Rs 1.96 trillion (ca USD 30½ bn in 2015) ranking India as one of the largest refined oil exporting nations.

India's oil refining capacity amounted to 230 MMTPA (Million Metric Tonne Per Annum) during 2016-17 ranking India as the fourth largest in the world after the United States, China and Russia. Total refined crude output was ca 245 million tons in 2016-17, ie over 100% of installed annual capacity. ONGC Videsh is a stakeholder in the multinational Sakhalin-I Project which now has begun the supply of oil to India. Indian state-owned oil companies have invested in oil and gas fields in a dozen foreign countries including Russia, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Qatar, Ivory Coast, Australia, Vietnam and Myanmar (Burma).

55 blocks (24 deep water, 6 shallow water and 25 onshore) for the exploration of oil and gas were on offer in the sixth auction under the New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) and are expected to bring investments to the tune of USD 8-10 billion. A total of 57 blocks are on offer on the 7th round of NELP.

Cairn, Oil and Gas vertical of Vedanta Limited, is the largest private sector crude oil producer in India.

Vizag refinery
A view of the HPCL refinery at Visakhapatnam.

Natural Gas

India has an estimated 1.2 trillion cubic meters of gas reserves (2016) of which approx. 60 % lie in the Krishna-Godavari basin and Western offshore gas fields. India produced approx. 31.9 billion cubic meters of natural gas during 2016-17.

Oil Refineries

India has 18 public sector refineries and five refineries in the private sector/or as a joint venture, the largest refineries being RIL Jamnagar (Gujarat), RPL Jamnagar (Gugarat), MRPL Mangalore (Karnataka), CPCL Manali (Chennai, Tamil Nadu) and IOC Koyali (Gujarat). Three new refineries have been proposed for implementation at Paradip (Orissa), Bina (Madhya Pradesh) and Bhatinda (Punjab). Essar Oil operates a 10.5 MMTPA refinery at Vadinar, Gujarat. RIL's and RPL's two refineries at Jamnagar have a total capacity of 1.24 million bpd, making these the world's largest combined oil refining facility. Indian Oil's Digboi (Assam) refinery, Asia's first, along with its oil field is one of the oldest continously operating refineries in the world. Total crude oil processed during 2016-17 reached approx. 245 MMTPA. Exports amounted to 68.4 MMTPA of various petroleum products valued at Rs 3.71 trillion.

Proposed/Under Construction Grassroots Refineries
LocationStateCapacity (MMTPA)CompanyMajor StakeholdersMiscStatus
BhatindaPunjab 9 (currently being expanded to 11½) HPCL- Mittal Energy Ltd. HPCL and Mittal Energy Investment Pte Ltd - Singapore 165MV captive power plant, 1012 km pipeline to Mundra, Gujarat Operating since Mar '12
VisakhapatnamAndhra Pradesh15HPCLTotalExpansion of current Vizag refinery
BinaMadhya Pradesh6Bharat Oman Refineries Ltd BPCL and Oman Oil Company LtdA 935 km crude oil pipeline from Vadinar, Gujarat to Bina, MP 85 % completed - Jan '09. Completion 2009-10.
BarmerRajasthan7.5Rajasthan Refineries LimitedONGC and Cairns EnergyThe Rs 90 bn project would be Rajasthan's largest single investment. This project has been put on hold.
KakinadaAndhra Pradesh 14 Mangalore Refinery (ONGC subsidiary) Mangalore Refinery, IL&FS, Andhra Pradesh Govt. Export oriented refinery-cum-petrochem complex, planning stage.
ParadipOrissa5Indian OilIndian OilA 15 MMTPA refinery-cum-petrochem complex slated to be completed by end 2011.
JamnagarGujarat 29 Reliance Petroleum Ltd. RPL A 29 MMTPA export-oriented refinery commissioned in Dec 2008.
VadinarGujarat ca 24 Essar Capacity expansion of current refinery to 34 MMTPA by Dec 2011.

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