Chart 2: How much oil does India really produce?
While India has consistently followed the principle of strategic exploitation of energy resources with the aim of future conservation, its domestic production has virtually stagnated over the years as is evidenced by the charts below.
Chart 3: Who produces how much of India’s oil?
While foreign energy companies like Cairn, British Petroleum, Shell and Focus along with Indian energy majors like Reliance and Essar have partaken in oil exploration, a bulk of the oil is still produced by state owned Oil & Natural Gas Corporation of India (ONGC). As is evidenced by the chart below, ONGC, Oil India Limited and private companies have failed to augment their production over the years.
Chart 4: India’s increasing ‘dry well’ problem
While many companies drill for oil, the number of dry wells over the years has increased substantially. Even though the number of oil wells have increased along with the meterage of these wells over the years, these new oil wells have failed to improve India’s domestic crude oil production
Chart 5: How many new oil wells does India dig?
Given India’s crude oil reserves and the many companies involved in exploration, it is surprising that the number of new wells dug every year has come down substantially. This decline is noticeable in case of both development and exploratory wells across all oil bearing basins in India
Chart 6: Oil drilling contracts: A tale of relinquishments
The enthusiasm for doling out new contracts under various phases of NELP has also shown wide fluctuations. But the most visible characteristic of these contracts have been the sheer number of contracts that have been relinquished because the companies with these contracts failed to find any oil
Chart 7: Billions of dollars of unfulfilled promises
While there has been a great deal of enthusiasm among corporates and state energy companies in the initial years of exploration, this eagerness has drastically waned over the years. Infact in 1999, the actual investment was much more than the promised investment. A decade later the actual investment dipped to zero as evidenced by the charts below
Chart 8: A bird's eye view of India's oil dependency
A look at the chart below shows that crude oil imports in India account for an astounding 87 per cent of the oil produced in its refineries. India's crude oil imports dwarfs its own domestic consumption.
Chart 9: Net result: India at the mercy of OPEC
The net result of the sorry state of exploration and development in India is that the country has become heavily dependent on crude oil. The below chart shows that global crude oil prices have helped in containing the oil bill in recent years but this chart may look different in the times to come.