India is considering quadrupling the size of the strategic crude oil stockpile it is building as insurance against supply disruption.
India is currently building 5.33 million tonnes of storages at Vishkhapatnam, Mangalore and Padur by 2013 and has now initiated studies to construct space to store an additional 12.5 million tonnes of strategic reserves, official sources said here.
Additional storage of 5 million tonnes was being considered at Padur in Karnataka and 2.5 million tonnes each at Chandikhol in Odisha, Rajkot in Gujarat and Bikaner in Rajasthan. The 12.5 million tonnes of stockpile would be build would take at least four-five years to build.
Sources said the Strategic Crude Oil Reserves are meant to take care of oil security concerns of the country and could be released to meet contingencies arising out of supply disruptions and cushion abnormal increase in prices.
An inter-ministerial empowered committee chaired by Oil Secretary will decide on releasing emergency stocks, they said adding the panel would include secretaries to the department of expenditure Secretary, home, Planning Commission, defence, National Security Council and shipping.
Currently strategic storages under are being build in underground rock caverns but in the next phase salt cavern storage and underground concrete tank storages would also be considered.
Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd, a subsidiary of Oil India Development Board (OIDB), is a special purpose vehicle that is building the strategic stockpile.
Sources said 1.33 million tonnes strategic storage under construction at Visakhapat-nam will cost Rs 1,038 crore and would be completed by October this year.
The Rs 732 crore, 1.5 million tonnes Mangalore storage would be completed by December 2013 and the third storage at Padur which will have a capacity to stock 2.5 million tonnes of crude oil and cost Rs 993 crore, would be ready by April 2014.