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Visakhapatnam Strategic reserve crude storage facility to open this year

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The underground crude storage facility in Visakhapatnam, being built by Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL), is getting ready for commissioning later this year, according to authorities.

  • This is one of the three underground rock caverns built by ISPRL.
  • Other two more facilities are being at Mangalore and Padur, both in Karnataka on India’s western coast.
  • Underground rock caverns has been built to store crude with an investment of ₹1,178 crore.
  • Two other caverns at Mangaluru and Padur (Udupi) are being built at a cost of ₹1,227 crore and ₹1,693 crore, respectively
  • Put together, the three facilities can hold 5.33 million metric tonnes of crude oil.
  • The equivalent of 5,17,857 truck-tanker loads of 12 kilolitre capacity each.
  • The strategic reserves would hold enough crude oil to power India for about 13 days, based on the country’s demand.

Imporatance of Strategic Petroleum Reserves ;

  • India needs these emergency oil reserves since it is a net importer of oil.
  • Over five years, India has imported more than 80 percent of its crude-oil requirement.
  • The domestic production has been somewhat stagnant.
  • It was 37.7 million metric tonnes in 2010-11 and stood at 38.8 million metric tonnes in 2014-15.
  • The erstwhile Planning Commission, and now re-named Niti Aayog, in its Integrated Energy Policy of 2006, said supply, market and technical risks were major threats to India’s energy security.

Where the other countries standing in this regard:

  • China, like India, is in the process of shoring up its strategic oil reserves.
  • The global standard for strategic oil reserves, as set by the International Energy Association (IEA) for member-countries, is 90 days of net oil imports.
  • The US holds 95 million metric tonnes of strategic reserves, the highest by any country in the world.
  • Japan, which like India is dependent on imported oil, has the second highest reserves with 44 million metric tonnes.

The facilities are:

  1. Mangalore, State of Karnataka. Capacity of 10.995 million barrels .
  2. Padur village, Udupi in the state of Karnataka. Capacity of 18.7 million barrels.
  3. Visakhapatnam, State of Andhra Pradesh. Capacity of 1.33 million tonnes.

About ISPRL:

  • Full form : Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd.
  • A special purpose entity wholly-owned by the Oil Industry Development Board
  • In 2003 India started the development of a strategic crude oil reserve sized at 37,400,000 barrels, enough for two weeks of consumption.
  • Petroleum stocks have been transferred from the Indian Oil Corporation (IndianOil) to the Oil Industry Development Board (OIDB).
  • The OIDB then created the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL) to serve as the controlling government agency for the strategic reserve.
  • Target : Augment crude reserve capacity to 132 million barrels by 2020 .
  • Chief Executive Officer : Rajan K. Pillai