India’s natural gas production growth at 30 months-high
India produced 2,738 million standard cubic meter (mmscm) of natural gas in January 2017, registering a growth of 12 per cent over the same month last fiscal. Nothing unusual about it, expect that it was the highest growth recorded in the past 30 months, or two-and-a-half-years, for which data is publicly available.
An analysis of fresh data released by Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell ( PPAC), the oil ministry’s technical arm, reveals the sudden surge in growth last month is not a result of increased production. Total monthly output has grown from 2,488 mmscm in April 2016 to 2,738 mmscm in January 2017. The historic growth is rather attributed to low base effect — a sudden dip observed in the output for January 2016.
“Gross production of natural gas for the month of January 2017 was 2,738 MMSCM which was higher by 11.9 per cent compared with the corresponding month of the previous year (2,447 MMSCM). The cumulative gross production of natural gas — 26,624 MMSCM for the current year till January 2017 — was lower by 1.9 percent compared with the corresponding period of the previous year (27,145 MMSCM),” PPAC said in a report.
In January 2016, the natural gas production had dropped by a sharp 15.3 per cent. The decline was attributed mainly to fall in output from the state-run Oil and Natural Corporation (ONGC), which alone accounts for a bulk of the domestic production, and private sector companies. ONGC’s production had dropped 19.3 per cent to 1,530 mmscm in January 2016 due to less production in Bassein field due to shutdown for reconstruction activities and closure of wells in Cauvery basin on account of less off-take by consumers.
Also, natural gas production from private and JV fields had decreased 12 per cent in January 2016 to 670 MMSCM mainly due to production fall in Krishna Godavari D6 block (KGD6), Panna-Mukta, M&S Tapti and Ravva fields.
Cumulatively, India’s natural gas production fell two percent in the April-Jan period of 2016-17 as compared to the corresponding period a year ago. This was despite ONGC and Oil India’s better performance. ONGC’s output increased 25.6 percent to 1,922 million cubic meters in January, 2017 as compared to the same month a year ago. The firm’s production rose three percent to 18,342 mmscm for the first ten months of 2016-17.
For Oil India, there was a growth in production of more than six percent to 248.79 million cubic meters for January 2017. Cumulatively, the company produced 2,460 mmscm in the first ten months of 2016-17 a growth of four percent as compared to the corresponding period a year ago.
Natural gas production by private upstream firms and JVs, however, took a hit declining more than 15 percent in January 2017 to 567 mmscm as compared to the same month a year ago. Cumulatively, the decline in production of natural gas was more than 16 percent to 5,821 mmscm in the first ten months of 2016-17 as compared to the corresponding period. The decline is attributed to under-performance of wells in KG block, Sohagpur West CBM block, Raniganj East CBM block, natural decline in Bhagyam block and maintenance activities in Mangala and NI wells.