India’s natural gas production dropped by almost one-fifth in April due to lower offtake by industries during the nationwide coronavirus lockdown, according to official data released on Saturday.
Gas output at 2.16 billion cubic metres in April was 18.6 per cent lower than 2.65 bcm production in the same month a year back, data released by the oil ministry showed.
Lower production was due to a 15.3 per cent drop in output by the country’s top producer ONGC at 1.72 bcm.
“The shortfall in gas production (by ONGC) is primarily due to less gas offtake by consumers due to COVID-19 lockdown,” it said.
State-owned Oil India Ltd also produced 10 per cent less natural gas at 202.05 million cubic metres due to “loss of potential in Deohal area (in Assam) due to presence of CO2 in production stream (and) less gas offtake by consumers due to COVID-19 lockdown,” it said.
India’s crude oil production fell 6.35 per cent to 2.5 million tonnes in April for the same reason.
Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) output was marginally lower at 1.7 million tonnes in April, while fields operated by private firms such as Cairn produced 19.2 per cent less oil at 615,800 tonnes.
Cairn’s Rajasthan fields produced 19.2 per cent less oil at 490,560 tonnes, the data showed.
Crude oil production by ONGC was lower due to “closure of wells in Western Offshore due to less offtake by GAIL due to COVID-19 lockdown (and) restriction of movements for field operations in onshore fields due to COVID-19 lockdown,” it said.
Cairn’s Rajasthan fields produced less due to delay in hook-up of new wells, delay in workover wells revival and new injector due to COVID-19 impact.
Refineries produced about 30 per cent less fuel in April at 18.9 million tonnes as the lockdown kept most vehicles off the roads, evaporating demand.
“Reasons for shortfall in production mainly include low demand due to COVID-19 lockdown,” the ministry said.