Half of India’s strategic petroleum reserve is empty. Empty caverns are not good contributors to energy security – something government officials and oil industry executives realised recently when they sat to count their fall-back options after a drone attack on Saudi Arabia removed 5% of global oil supplies from the market.
India’s 5.33 million tonnes of strategic storage barely competes with 88 million tonnes of the US and 44 million tonnes of China. India is the third-largest consumer of oil in the world, behind US and China.
And if you have half of this small capacity empty, you might wonder why have such storage at all. At half the capacity, as per officials, strategic reserves can provide for about four-and-a-half days of country’s oil needs. At full, nine days.
Had the Saudi crisis deepened – which fortunately it did not – we could have been hard pressed to arrange oil given that the kingdom supplies nearly a fifth of our requirement. Read more
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