The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Assam oil faces flare-up heat

New Delhi, Nov. 20: Oil India Ltd (OIL) and ONGC have failed to meet their crude oil production target for October in Assam due to the disturbed conditions in the state and an increase in the water-oil ratio in some fields. With the recent riots breaking out over railway recruitment, the situation is expected to deteriorate this month.

In the downstream oil refining business, the output of Indian Oil Corporationís (IOC) Barauni refinery fell short of target due to the low demand for diesel. The performance of Bharat Petroleum Corporationís Numaligarh refinery failed to meet the target both due to lower crude delivery and the inability of the railways to provide adequate tank wagons to evacuate the products.

On the positive side, the crude throughput of IOCís Guwahati, Haldia and Digboi refineries has exceeded the planned target for the month. As far as the nationwide figures are concerned, the refinery segment has exceeded its target.

However, the deterioration in the law and order situation in Assam and Bihar has sparked fears that the movement of oil especially by road could be hit.

According to statistics made available by the ministry of petroleum and natural gas, OIL was expected to meet a target of 0.273 million tonnes of crude oil during October from its fields in Assam and Arunachal but could produce only 0.256 million tonnes, which is 6.2 per cent short of the target.

The performance of ONGC in Assam was even worse as it fell short of the planned target of 0.172 tonnes by over 17 per cent. ONGCís performance at the all-India level was 2 per cent less than the planned target of 2.3 million tonnes. Some redeveloped wells at Mumbai High did not contribute the expected amount and the target set for the enhanced oil recovery projects at the Balol and Santhal fields in Gujarat has turned out to be too optimistic. On the plus side, natural gas production has gone up from 2,726 MCM during the month from 2,641 MCM in the same month of the previous year.

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