The dip in natural gas production during the month was due to lower offtake of gas by consumers and ceasure of four wells, as well as no off take by ONGC's Hazira plant due to floods.

Our Bureau

New Delhi, Sept. 21

Crude oil production in August rose about 12 per cent. Oil & Natural Gas Corporation and its competitors produced 2.69 million tonnes of crude during the month under review, up from 2.41 mt in the corresponding month last year. However, the natural gas output fell 25 per cent to 1.95 billion cubic meters in August.

According to a data released by the Petroleum Ministry, production from the Mumbai High fields, operated by ONGC, rose 28.8 per cent to 1.39 million tonnes in August. A fire in July 2005 at one of the platforms at the field reduced the country's oil output by 5.3 per cent last year.

The reasons cited for the dip in natural gas production during the month included less offtake of gas by consumers and ceasure of four wells, as well as no offtake by ONGC's Hazira plant due to floods.

With rise in demand, oil refiners such as Indian Oil Corporation and Reliance Industries Ltd processed 12.2 per cent more crude oil in August. Refiners processed 12.11 mt of crude oil into fuels in August compared to 10.79 mt during the corresponding month last year. The refinery runs in August were 4.7 per cent above the Government's target of 11.56 mt. The refinery utilisation rate in August stood at 107.6 per cent of capacity, up from 99.8 per cent in the same month last year.

Output at Indian Oil Corporation rose 12 per cent in August to 3.53 mt compared with last year as production at its plants at Barauni and Koyali, rose during the month, the data revealed. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation processed 1.38 mt of oil in August 33 per cent more from the previous year, as output at its refinery in Visakhapatnam rose 78 per cent to 7,97,000 tonnes. Bharat Petroleum Corporation processed 9,89,000 tonnes of crude oil in the month under review, 45 per cent more than last year. Production at Reliance Industries Ltd rose 7 per cent in August to 3.16 mt, the statement said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 22, 2006)
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