India is expanding its strategic petroleum reserves programme, the Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Rameswar Teli, told the lower House of Parliament, the Lok Sabha. In the second phase of its petroleum reserves programme, approvals were given this month for establishing two additional commercial-cum-strategic storage facilities with a total capacity of 6.5 million metric tonnes (MMT) in underground storage structures. The approvals were announced by the Minister today in reply to questions from Lok Sabha members.
In the first phase of India’s strategic petroleum reserves programme, an agreement to store oil from Abu Dhabi at strategic petroleum reserves in India was signed between the two sides in January 2017 during a visit by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to New Delhi.
Following the agreement, first cargo of crude oil from the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) was shipped to India 16 months later as reported by the Emirates News Agency, WAM, on 12th May 2018. Subsequent shipments have been ongoing as part of the agreement. The expansion of India’s strategic petroleum reserves into its second phase envisages new facilities at Chandikhol in Odisha state with 4 MMT capacity and another at Padur in Karnataka state with 2.5 MMT capacity.
Both facilities will be built by way of public-private partnerships. The Request for Proposals (RFPs) for building these new facilities is under finalization, Teli said. The government had allocated Indian rupees 2.1 billion (US$ 155.4 billion) in its budget for last year for land acquisition for the expansion in the second phase.