Steps to counter high crude prices: Minister

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New Delhi, Apr 22 (UNI) The Government today said it was taking a slew of measures to counter the skyrocketing oil prices including carving out more areas for exploration under the NELP and use of alternative fuels such as bio-diesel and ethanol.

Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dinsha Patel said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha that indigenous production had not slackened.

In fact, crude oil and gas production by private or joint ventures during 2007-08 totalled 5.08 million metric tonnes (MMT) and 7.72 billion cubic meter (BCM) against 4.83 MMT and 7.04 BCM for 2006-07.

But with the per barrel price of Indian crude crossing the 100 US dollars mark, he said several measures were being taken to restrict the quantum of crude import into India, he told the members.

Apart from carving out more areas for exploration under the New Exploration Licensing Policy, stress was being put on quicker development of discovered reserves for enabling early commencement of production and use of stimulation techniques for increasing production from existing fields.

The Minister said other measures were arresting decline from ageing fields, acquisition of exploration acreages and oil producing properties overseas to bring in equity oil, substitution with alternative fuels such as bio-diesel and ethanol-blended petrol and evolving suitable technlogy for extraction of gas from gas hydrates under the National Gas Hydrates Programme.


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