High level committee recommends strategy to reduce crude oil imports

In a report submitted to the oil ministry on Tuesday, a high level committee (HLC) of companies has recommended strategies to reduce import dependency. The committee was formed to discuss research-related synergies and tax issues for state-run oil companies.

The committee also explored the possibility of forming a new entity for oil services and related manpower. “It also explored the need and possibility of formation of new entity dealing with oil services and supply of qualified manpower to oil and gas sector around the world,” the ministry said in its statement.

The committee consisted of Anil Kakodkar (scientist) and Sidharth Pradhan, an expert on financial and tax issues. “They also looked into mergers, acquisitions and consolidation of oil and gas public sector undertakings (PSUs) and the joint ventures,” the ministry said in a press statement. 

The ministry, in its statement, further said that the committee has recommended short-term, medium-term and long-term strategies in the report to help reduce the import dependency of the nation. 

During 2018, India consumed 204.92 MMT petroleum products and 58.64 billion cubic metres (BCM) natural gas, whereas the domestic production of crude oil and natural gas has almost stagnated. The import dependency of crude oil and liquified natural gas (LNG) during the year was 82.59 per cent and 45.89 per cent, respectively, and is expected to increase. 

The ministry also added research and development (R&D) is going to play an important role in the process to reduce import dependency. Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas will consider the recommendations submitted by the Committee while formulating policies in the said matter,” the statement further added.