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Production Slumps By 40% At India’s Biggest Oil, Gas Deposit

Oil and gas production from India’s northwestern state of Rajasthan—home to the country’s single biggest oil and gas deposit—has slumped by 40 percent over the past two years, mostly due to the pandemic and its effect on oil demand and prices, officials told Hindustan Times on Friday.

Alongside with lower production of oil and gas, the state of Rajasthan saw its revenues from hydrocarbon production decline last year.

The area around Barmer is the biggest source of domestic oil and natural gas for India after crude oil and coal were discovered there in 2004.

Despite the COVID-induced slump, Indian companies haven’t given up on investment in new production in the Barmer area. State-controlled Oil India, for example, will be investing in oil and natural gas exploration, an official told Hindustan Times. 

“And upon commencement of production, the state will generate revenue at the rate of 12.5% on mineral oil and 10% on natural gas production,” the official added.

Meanwhile, India’s fuel demand is recovering from the COVID wave in the spring, and as of mid-August, it was holding up despite the gloomier demand picture in the rest of Asia.

India’s fuel consumption recovery was a rare bright data point in the first half of August, while China, Japan, and Southeast Asia are struggling to contain a COVID resurgence with lockdowns and emergency measures that threaten to reduce immediate refined product demand.

India’s gasoline sales rose by 3.7 percent in the first two weeks of August compared to the same period of the pre-pandemic 2019, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing preliminary data from the three largest fuel retailers in the country. Sales of diesel—the most used fuel in India—were down by 8 percent compared to 2019, but still higher than in July 2021, when diesel consumption had declined by 11 percent, according to the data obtained by Bloomberg.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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