Resource Fact Sheet

By: Staff Reporter
India is rich in minerals and resources. However, in recent years there has been fluctuations in production of key minerals in India with steep decline in production and burdened by an ever-increasing demand. These key minerals have been showcased in this section with data from Indian Bureau of Mines, Ministry of Mines, Government of India. Import and export of coal, iron-ore, crude petroleum and natural gas have been analysed from 2004-2014.

Until recently, India’s domestic coal production was sufficient to meet its consumption. However, the rapidly increasing use of coal for energy amidst the overall shortage and the recent downturn in production, has led to an increase in coal imports. Till 2009-10, the production growth averaged approximately 6 per cent a year followed by a steep decline in successive years, as low as 2 per cent per year. Subsequently, the import of coal has increased from 28.949 MT during 2004-05 to 166.861 MT during 2013-14. India’s imports primarily from Indonesia, Australia and South Africa. During the above period, the quantum of coal export to the neighbouring countries—Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan increased from 0.1374 to 0.2153 MT. Despite, decreasing production India’s coal, export to these traditional buyers remain critical in light of their geographical constraints.

India has one of the largest iron ore reserves in the world and is self sufficient to meet its domestic demand. There has been a steady increase in production of iron ore from 2004-05 to 2007-08 after which there have been fluctuations in its production and a declining trend from 2010-11. The decrease in production has been mainly due to suspension of mining operations in Karnataka and Goa, also largely contributing to a steep decline in the export of the mineral.

India is highly dependent on import of crude oil. Net imports of crude oil have increased from 96.7 during 2004-05 to 189.24 MT during 2013-14. Oil imports constitute more than 80 per cent of India’s total domestic oil consumption. India was the fourth largest consumer of crude oil and petroleum products in the world in 2014, after the US, China and Japan. The production of petroleum crude hovered between 32-34 MT between 2004-05 and 2009-10. The year 2010-11 saw a sharp increase of 11.85 per cent which largely came due to commissioning of projects in Rajasthan. Thereafter the production was affected by bandh/blockades in Assam, power disturbances in Gujarat and long delays in production from wells in Andhra Pradesh.

The development of Natural Gas industry in the country started in 1960s with discovery of gas fields in Assam and Gujarat. The production of Natural gas remained between 30,000 in 2004-05 to 33,000 M Cu m in 2008-09. In 2009-10, there was an increase of 44.61 per cent in the production which was primarily due to some major discoveries by private joint venture companies in Krishna Godavari deep waters. However, from 2010-11 onwards there was continuous decline in production after some wells ceased to flow due to water/sand ingress in Krishna deep waters. The prolonged bandhs and blockades in Assam also affected overall production. This has led to increase of natural gas import from 2011-12 onwards.

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