New Delhi. A few months ago, the International Energy Forum released an estimate of crude consumption in the world after 2020, saying that by 2040, its demand will continue to grow. But the way the Corona virus has just blocked the big economies of the world, there is a huge reduction in the consumption of petroleum products. Among the three largest consumers of petroleum products, the US, China and India, there is a complete lockdown in India. More than half of America’s industries and transport are closed, while the situation is not normal in many provinces of China. This is the reason that despite the price of crude coming down from $ 65 to $ 26 per barrel in the last five weeks, its buyers are not getting it.
The consumption of petrol and diesel in India has decreased by more than 50 percent. The crude reserves of most of the country’s refineries are full. However, due to lack of demand, most of the refineries in the country have either stopped production or are producing very little of their capacity. According to a senior official of Indian Oil Corporation, the country’s largest refinery, till last Wednesday, the company had cut production by 30 percent.
Retail sales of petrol, diesel, bitumen and other industrial products had reduced by 50 percent by then. The demand from the railway and aviation sector is also negligible. So, the crude purchase agreements already in place are enough to meet the demand. However, the demand for LPG is increasing and uninterrupted supply is being made.
Mukesh Kumar Surana, chairman of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), told Dainik Jagran that ‘we have started controlling our production keeping in view the future demand due to the lockdown as it is a sensitive task to reserve petroleum products. . We are also reducing production in refineries accordingly. While Ajay Bansal, president of the association of 68,000 petrol pumps of the country, says that in the last 15 days, the sale of petrol and diesel has reduced by 95 percent.
Bansal cites an old report by the Government of India, that 70 percent of diesel and 99 percent of petrol are used in the transport sector. Seeing the number of vehicles on the road, it is clear that their claim of reduction in sales by 95 percent is close to the truth. The International Energy Agency has said that three billion people have stopped taking to the streets, reducing the demand for 20 million barrels of crude oil. If industrial production stagnates due to corona for more days, then the purchase of crude in the international market in the last three months can be met only for the next one year.
The demand for LPG is increasing, the government is ready
Despite lower petrol and diesel sales, the demand for LPG in the country is increasing. Looking at the possibility of increasing demand for LPG in the coming days, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday spoke to Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdul Aziz and President of Saudi Arabia’s largest oil company Saudi Aramco, Amin Nasir.
Pradhan said that Saudi Arabia has assured that it will continue to supply LPG as per India’s domestic demand. Indian Oil Corporation Chairman Sanjeev Singh has stated that state-owned oil companies are fully capable of meeting the demand for LPG. According to HPCL Chairman Mukesh Kumar Surana, the trend of keeping two or three cylinders in reserve is seen in the people, due to which the demand has increased.