Production of petroleum refinery products is expected to remain subdued in the short-term after the hike in global crude oil prices. A report by Care Ratings has predicted tepid performance for the petroleum refinery segment in the country as both OPEC producers and Russia have decided to limit production of crude oil at 1.8 million barrels per day to stabilize the global supply glut. During April-October of this fiscal, the performance of the petroleum refinery segment was subdued with 2.9 per cent growth compared with eight per cent growth in the year-ago period. Production of refinery products include motor spirits, high speed diesel, naphtha, LPG, bitumen, petcoke and lubes. The country is a net exporter of such products. In India's crude oil basket, 15 per cent is domestic production while the balance 85 per cent is imported. The country aims to cut dependence on crude oil imports to 10 per cent by 2022. "Crude oil scenario has seemed to have improved in this month, as oil prices have been at an all-time high since mid-2015, which makes upstream activities of exploration and production more profitable. We believe that there will be a marginal pick-up in production of domestic crude oil during the course of the year", said the report by Care Ratings. Crude oil imports by India during April-October remained almost flat, rising by just 0.6 per cent.
Domestic production fell by 0.2 per cent.Imports of LNG, on the other hand, reduced as domestic production rose in this period. Overall natural gas production rose from 17,900 million cubic metres to 18,744 million cubic metres, a increase of 4.7 per cent. The rise in production is attributed to the favourable policies which have been invoked to enhance domestic exploration and production of oil and natural gas and due to the aim of reducing import dependency by 10 per cent by 2022. India is also on the move to shift towards a gas based economy.