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Centre to overhaul petroleum reserve policy

Friday, 23 Jul 2021
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The Central government has decided to commercialise half of its current strategic petroleum reserves (SPRs) as it looks to enhance private participation in the building of new storage facilities.

The shift in policy was approved this month by the Cabinet. Allowing commercialisation of SPRs mirrors a model adopted by countries such as Japan and South Korea which allow private lesees, mostly oil majors, to re-export crude.

Private entities taking storage on lease will be allowed to re-export 1.5 million tonne of oil stored in the caverns in the case of Indian companies refusing to buy the crude.

Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves (ISPRL), a company charged with building of SPRs, will be allowed to sell one tonne crude to local buyers. So far Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has leased 7,50,000 tonne of oil storage in the 1.5 million tonne Mangaluru SPR.

India also plans to build strategic storage at Chandikhol in Odisha and Padur in Karnataka for around 6.5 million tonne of crude to provide an additional cover of 12 days of net oil imports.

The Union Cabinet in early July 2021 also decided to provide up to Rs 8,000 crore of financial support, equivalent to about 60 percent of the estimated cost, for building two new SPRs. ISPRL will soon float an initial tender for building new reserves.

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