Letter to BS: Over dependency on Middle East for oil may hit India hard

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This refers to “Sensex falls 642 pts, Nifty ends at 10,818 on oil crisis and global tension” (September 18). India’s demand for crude is assessed at 8.2 million bbl/d by 2040, while domestic production will remain relatively flat at around 1 million bbl/d. We depend on Middle East for 60-65 per cent and the rest from the West and Africa. Our supply distributions are across several countries, including Iran, Libya, Sudan, and Nigeria. The Saudi Arabia one is a new development and now uncertain geo-political trends would make us ever dependent on imports.

Foreign investment in exploration in India has waned in recent years due to increased competition from domestic Indian companies and because of complex laws. Our own exploration was never zestful. The successful one at Cairn India's Mangala field produced 0.179 million bbl/d in 2013 and at best may peak at 0.3 million bbl/d — too modest to enthuse. As for strategic reserves, we are worse; we have no more than 10 days of stock against the global trend of 60 to 90 days.

R Narayan, Mumbai
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