2G Refinery at Numaligarh to create huge employment opportunities for local farmers: Petroleum Minister Hardeep S Puri acknowledges contribution of NE states in Crude Oil and Natural Gas production

BY | Tuesday, 5 December, 2023

The State of Assam contributes approximately 14 percent of total crude oil production and ten percent of total natural gas production in the Country, noted Hardeep Singh Puri, Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister, while answering to a starred question raised by Rajya Sabha M.P. Pabitra Margherita in the parliament on November 4, Informed PIB.

Answering the question related to production of petroleum and natural gas from Assam and also the steps taken by the Government to reduce the import dependence, Puri reminded that the first refinery in Asia was established in Digboi (Assam) in the year 1901, after the commercial scale production of crude oil at Digboi in 1889.

He informed to the House that during the last 4 Financial Years i.e. 2019-20 to 2022-23, the total Royalty paid to the State Government is Rs. 9291 Crore for crude oil and Rs. 851 crore for gas production. Puri specifically mentioned about the major projects in the North East region valuing at Rs. 44000 crore including Numaligarh Refinery expansion project, North East Gas Grid, Paradip-Numaligarh crude oil pipeline and NRL Bio refinery etc. The 2G refinery of 185 klpd capacity at Numaligarh will produce Ethanol from Bamboo and will create huge employment opportunities for local farmers.

The entire North Eastern States are being covered under the City Gas Distribution network in order to provide cheaper and clean cooking/vehicle fuel to the masses, stated Puri.

The Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas informed the House that the Government has reduced the “No Go” areas in Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) by almost 99 percent due to which approx 1 million square kilometres is now free for exploration and production activities. The other measures taken by the Government include using latest technologies, replacement and revival of sick and old wells etc. The Government is infusing Capital Expenditure of approx. Rs. 61000 crore for increasing production in the coming years.

The transformational steps taken to attract foreign investment in the E&P sector and that the National Oil Companies (ONGC and OIL) have entered into agreements with the International Oil Majors (e.g. ExxonMobil, Chevron, TotalEnergies, Shell etc) for collaboration, were also highlighted.

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Puri underscored the success in achieving the Ethanol blending targets before due date (from 1.53 percent in 2014 to 12 percent in 2023) and that the country is now marching ahead to have flex fuel engine vehicles. E20 (20 percent Ethanol blended fuel) is already available at more than 6000 Retail Outlets and will be available throughout the country by 2025.

He also mentioned about the steps taken by the Government to promote alternate sources like CBG, Green Hydrogen and EVs. Having recently inaugurated the Sui-Ka-Pha Multi Speciality (350 bed) Hospital at Sivasagar, Assam with a total cost of Rs. 483 crore, spent by ONGC under its CSR activities, Puri stated that it will cater to the needs of Upper Assam and neighboring districts of other States.

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