Write a note on India’s strategic crude oil reserves programme. (200 Words)
India faced fuel crisis in 1990 on the backdrop of gulf war where it has reserves sufficient for only 3 days. Being 80% of fuel requirements are imported and to face such external effects on the Indian energy need, government envisaged the Indian strategic petroleum reserve programme. It is mooted 1998 and commissioned in 2003.
There are 3 locations choosen for this program – Vishakapatnam,mangalore and padur covering east and west coast, of capacity 5.3 million metric tonnes.
Why it is required:
- India highly dependent on imports thus importing 80% of the oil, mostly from west Asia. Any uncertainties in that region which may affect the oil imports will have a paining effect in India.
- To control the effect of fluctuation in oil prices abroad in India
- Building the required infrastructure to store the oil
- Land availability and acquisition related problems
- Huge financial burden in the government exchequer
- Technology and investments available to build such world class infrastructure
What should be done to overcome the challenges?
- Technological help from the countries which have already successful in this regard should be taken
- Help of neighboring countries in investments by assuring the help in the oil crisis time to them
- Making the stock piling commercial to invite the investments in the program and inviting gulf countries in building them
As the oil prices dipped to low levels and no rise in near sight as well it is the golden opportunity for India to increase the capacity and fasten piling process to have adequate storage.