India's natural gas output falls by one-fifth in April due to lockdown

May 25,2020

India's natural gas production decreased by nearly one-fifth in April due to lower industrial performance during the nationwide coronavirus lockdown, according to official data published on Saturday. Gas output at 2.16 billion cubic meters in April was 18.6 percent lower than 2.65 billion cubic meters in production in the same month a year earlier, according to data released by the oil ministry.

Lower production was due to a 15.3 percent drop in output by the country's top producer Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) at 1.72 billion cubic meters.

"The shortfall in gas production by ONGC is mainly due to less gas offtake by consumers due to COVID-19 lockdown," it said.

State-owned Oil India Ltd also generated 10 percent less natural gas at 202.05 million cubic meters due to the "loss of capacity in the Deohal region of Assam due to the prevalence of CO2 in the production stream (and) less gas offtake by customers due to the COVID-19 lockdown," it added.

India's crude oil output decreased by 6.35 percent to 2.5 million tonnes in April for the same reason. In April, the output of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) was marginally lower at 1.7 million tonnes, while privately owned firms such as Cairn produced 19.2 percent less oil at 615.800 tonnes. Cairn's Rajasthan fields produced 19.2 percent less oil at 490.560 tonnes, according to data showed.

Crude oil production by the ONGC was lower due to the "closure of wells in Western Offshore due to less offtake by the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) due to the COVID-19 lockdown (and) constraints on-field activities in onshore areas due to the COVID-19 lockdown," it said.

Cairn's Rajasthan fields produced less due to delays in the hook-up of new wells, delays in the re-engineering of wells, and new injectors due to COVID-19 effects. In April, Refineries provided about 30 percent less fuel at 18.9 million tonnes, as the lockdown kept much of the vehicles off the road, evaporating demand.

"Reasons for shortfall in production mainly include low demand due to COVID-19 lockdown," the ministry said.

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