Country saved Rs 5,000 cr by taking advantage of low crude oil prices in April, May: Dharmendra Pradhan

Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan [File Photo]

New Delhi [India], September 29 (ANI): Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday said that the country saved Rs 5,000 crore by taking advantage of low crude oil prices in April and May this year to fill the existing strategic petroleum reserves.
Pradhan said, "We are striving for alignment and a synergistic approach across the sectors to reduce import dependency for hydrocarbons. Taking the advantage of low crude oil prices in April and May 2020, we filled the existing strategic petroleum reserves with 16 million barrels of crude oil, resulting in saving of over Rs 5,000 crore for the government."
Talking about further improving energy security in the hydrocarbons sector, Pradhan said, "We are gradually improving crude and petroleum products storage capacity from existing 74 days of national consumption to 90 days."
He invited the participation of companies in the development of 6.5 MMT of crude storage capacities at Chandikol and Padur in the next commercial-cum-strategic reserve program. "We are also exploring overseas crude storage facilities in the US and other commercially viable locations", he added.
Pradhan said that there is an all-of-the Government approach in implementing the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative in the energy sector, and in realising Prime Minister's energy vision of energy access, efficiency, sustainability, security and affordability.
The Minister referred to some pathways energy-consuming Ministries are aiming to improve energy independence, which include Indian Railways going in for 100 per cent electrification of Indian railway routes by 2023, targeted installation of over 15 lakh standalone solar pumps under Kisan Urja evam Utthan Mahabhiyan by MNRE, Road Transport Ministry supporting Hydrogen enriched CNG as an alternate fuel, Accelerating clean coal technologies by developing coal Gasification projects, and Green Port initiative by Ministry of Shipping.
Pradhan said, "Our five-pronged strategy to reduce crude oil import dependency including increasing domestic oil and gas production, promoting biofuels and renewables, energy conservation and energy efficiency, improvement in refinery processes and demand substitution, is making an impact."
The Petroleum Minister added "In the past, energy security has been seen in a narrow approach, mainly aimed at managing supply. Our government has widened the scope of energy security by making it much more inclusive and taking into account geopolitical, economic, social and environmental dimensions. India's energy diplomacy and its alignment with our foreign policy over the last six years has delivered tangible and substantive results. We have enhanced our engagement with key global energy players, and firmed up of strategic and comprehensive energy engagements with producing countries such as Russia, US, Saudi Arabia and UAE on hand, and close engagement with consuming countries such as Japan and South Korea."
Pradhan further said that at the national level, India is pursuing its unwavering commitment to energy security by constructing 175 GW of renewable capacity by 2022 and to 450 GW by 2030. India's energy policy is being pursued in a much more inclusive manner.
He said, "Prime Minister Modi being awarded the "Champion of Earth" by the UN Secretary-General in 2018 is yet another recognition of India's growing normative leadership in tapping this new energy source."
Pradhan further said that a major effort is underway to actualise Vocal for Local in the oil and gas industry. A major drive has been launched to increase localisation of procurements of the oil and gas sector to promote Atmanirbhar Bharat. (ANI)