Pipes feed crude oil onto the ‘Xin Run Yang’ oil tanker, operated by Cosco Shipping Holdings Co., during loading operations near Saudi Aramco’s Ras Tanura oil refinery, in Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia. (Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)

India’s Oil Import Dependence Jumps To 84%

Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have set a target to cut India’s oil import dependence but the country’s reliance on foreign oil for meeting its energy needs has jumped to a multi-year high of nearly 84 percent, latest government data showed.

Speaking at the Urja Sangam conference in March 2015, the Prime Minister had said that India needs to bring down its oil import dependence from 77 percent in 2013-14 to 67 percent by 2022. Further, the dependence can be cut to half by 2030, he had said.

But with consumption growing at a brisk pace and domestic output remaining stagnant, India’s oil import dependence has risen from 82.9 percent in 2017-18 to 83.7 percent in 2018-19, according to the oil ministry's Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell.

Import dependence in 2015-16 was 80.6 percent, which rose to 81.7 percent in the following year, PPAC said.

The country’s oil consumption grew from 184.7 million tonnes in 2015-16 to 194.6 million tonnes in the following year and 206.2 million tonnes in the year thereafter. In 2018-19, demand grew by 2.6 percent to 211.6 million tonnes.

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In contrast, domestic output continues to fall. India’s crude oil output fell from 36.9 million tonnes in 2015-16 to 36 million tonnes in 2016-17. The trend of negative growth continues in the following years as well as output fell to 35.7 million tonnes in 2017-18 and to 34.2 million tonnes in the fiscal year that ended on March 31, 2019, PPAC data showed.

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