Dependency on imports for energy needs sees a rise

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India's dependency on imports to meet its energy needs went up between 2012-13 and 2021-22 for all major sources - crude oil, natural gas and coal - shows data in a report recently released by the National Statistical Office (NSO). The jump was particularly pronounced in the case of natural gas, where the net import dependency rose from just over 30% to nearly 48%.

Overall, India's energy import was 34.2% of its energy consumption in 2012-13. This ratio had increased to 41% for 2021-22, the latest year for which data is available.

The analysis of net import dependency in the report Energy Statistics India, 2023 excluded petroleum products, the final products made from crude oil. Although India is a net exporter of petroleum products it has to import crude oil to manufacture them.

The report also shows that the import dependency has increased because the production growth couldn't keep up with the consumption growth. For natural gas - which saw the highest increase in import dependency, in 2012-13 India was producing 70.9% of its natural gas consumption which steadily declined to 53.2% by 2019-20.

Crude oil which saw a 4.7 percentage point increase in import dependency also has a similar trend. In 2012-13 India was able to produce 17.3% of its crude oil consumption which declined to 12.3% by 2021-22. For coal and lignite, while the country was producing 78% of its consumption in 2012-13, this had declined to 75.7% in the provisional estimates for 2021-22.

There has been a steady increase in the net import of most these energy products. In 2012-13 for instance, India's net import of coal was 143.3 million tonnes (MT) which has increased to 207.8 MTs in 2021-22. Unlike coal, which India exports as well as imports, India doesn't export crude oil and natural gas. Crude oil has also seen a similar increase in imports. Compared to 184.8 MTs of imports during 2012-13, the corresponding figures were 212 MT for 2021-22. The import of natural gas rose from 17.6 BCM (billion cubic meter) during 2012-13 to 30.8 BCM in 2021-22.

The Times of India


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