Strategic oil reserves of over 5mn tonnes to be ready by fiscal-end

New Delhi, March 11 (IANS) The first phase of implementing India’s strategic oil reserves would be completed by end of this fiscal with over 5 million tonnes (MT) of crude reserves in place in three separate storage facilities, the government said on Friday.

“In the first phase of building strategic oil reserves, the storage cavern at Vizag (Vishkapatnam) has been completed and the crude is in place,” Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told reporters here giving an update on India’s reserves at a time of low oil prices in the international market.

“The construction are in the final stages at Padur and Mangaluru (both in Karnataka) and these will be ready by the end of the fiscal when we will have a total strategic reserve of 5.33 million tonnes,” the minister said.

“Preparations will start, thereafter, for the second phase of construction where we plan to build reserves of 12.5 MT, so that by the end of the second phase we have strategic reserves of around 17.8 MT,” he added.

India imports nearly 80 percent of its oil requirements, and the government had decided to set up strategic crude oil storages as a cushion against external supply disruptions. These storages would be in addition to the existing ones of the oil companies.

The construction of the storage caverns is being managed by the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd., which is a special purpose vehicle created by the Oil Industry Development Board (OIDB).

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