• Assam contributes 14% of total crude oil production in the country: Minister

    Union Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri said that Assam contributes 14% of total crude oil production and1 10% of total natural gas production in the country. Answering the question related to production of petroleum and natural gas from Assam and also the steps taken by the government to reduce the import dependence, he further added that the first refinery in Asia was established in Digboi (Assam) in the year 1901, after the commercial scale production of crude oil at Digboi in 1889.

    He informed to the House that during the last four financial years i.e. 2019-20 to 2022-23, the total royalty paid to the state government is Rs. 9291 Ccore for crude oil and Rs. 851 crore for gas production.

    He also specifically mentioned about the major projects in the North East region valuing at Rs. 44000 crore including Numaligarh Refinery expansion project, North East Gas Grid, Paradip-Numaligarh crude oil pipeline and NRL Bio refinery etc. The 2G refinery of 185 klpd capacity at Numaligarh will produce Ethanol from Bamboo and will create huge employment opportunities for local farmers.

    He also informed to the House that the entire North Eastern States are being covered under the City Gas Distribution network in order to provide cheaper and clean cooking/vehicle fuel to the masses.

    The Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister informed to the House that the government has reduced the “No Go” areas in Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) by almost 99% due to which approx 1 million square kilometres is now free for exploration and production activities. The other measures taken by the government include using latest technologies, replacement and revival of sick and old wells etc. The government is infusing capital expenditure of approx. Rs. crore for increasing production in the coming years.

    He also mentioned about the transformational steps taken to attract foreign investment in the E&P sector and that the PSU companies ONGC and OIL have entered into agreements with the international oil majors (e.g. ExxonMobil, Chevron, TotalEnergies, Shell etc) for collaboration.

    Puri highlighted the success in achieving the ethanol blending targets before due date (from 1.53% in 2014 to 12% in 2023) and that the country is now marching ahead to have flex fuel engine vehicles. E20 (20% Ethanol blended fuel) is already available at more than 6000 retail outlets and will be available throughout the country by 2025.

    He also mentioned about the steps taken by the government to promote alternate sources like CBG, Green Hydrogen and EVs.

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