Peak Oil and India’s Oil Refineries

January 31, 2011
School of Business, Amritapuri

Students from Amrita University were centre stage this week at an international education conference in Europe.

Their paper titled Need of the Hour was showcased at the Learning Teacher Network‘s 7th International Conference in Berlin, Germany.

MBA Students

The paper was authored by Meenu S, Mritunjay Kumar, Shaju Raj and Vidhyalakshmi, all second-year MBA students from Amritapuri, Kerala.

Need of the Hour presents an overview of the current build-up and expansion of oil refineries in India.

It argues that all available data on oil production shows that we are very close to Peak Oil. This means that global production of crude oil will decline in coming years as the world begins to run out of this finite fossil fuel.

However, many Indian companies are planning on investing millions of dollars to build new oil refineries or expand the capacity of existing ones.

“India already has the world’s largest oil refinery,” the paper abstract stated.
Read Excerpts from Paper Abstract »

 Reliance IndustriesThe world’s biggest oil refinery in Jamnagar, Gujarat owned by Reliance Industries helped make India into a net exporter of refined oil products. Now 5 new refineries were being planned as well a capacity enhancement of 9 other refineries.

“Oil companies are able to think of making huge investments into such projects because of their profits and government policies and subsidies,” the students noted.

“We recommend instead that these companies invest the money in alternate and renewable sources of energy.”

The students sent their paper to members of the conference committee for feedback. One of the major conference themes was education for sustainable development.

Conference committee representative Linda Karlsson, wrote back to the students, after a committee review of the paper.

“With your permission, we would be delighted to disseminate your paper by copying and giving this in print to all conference delegates,” she said.

CellsShe added that conference delegates would represent 23 nations.

The students responded that they would be honoured to have their paper distributed.

“We have to spread awareness about this issue. The use of alternative clean fuels could help mitigate global warming. Many see peak oil as holding tremendous potential for positive change — assuming countries act with foresight.”


India, being a large consumer of oil, also has the world’s largest oil refinery – Reliance Industries Ltd. located in Jamnagar, Gujarat. The capacity of this refinery is 33.00 MMTPA (Million Metric Tonnes per Annum). The total refining capacity in the country stands at 179.956 MMTPA.

Refineries in India
To meet the growing demand for petroleum products, the refining capacity in the country gradually increased over the years. New refineries were set up as well as the refining capacity of the existing refineries was expanded. As of April 2009, there were 20 refineries in the nation; 17 in the Public Sector and 3 in the Private Sector. India is not only self sufficient in refining capacity for domestic consumption, it also exports petroleum products.

Expansion of Refineries
India’s 11th 5-Year Plan (2007-2012) laid out a strategy whereby India could become a globally competitive refining destination. 5 new grass root refineries were planned in different locations with a total capacity of 54 MMTPA. In addition, 9 refineries were identified for capacity expansion, this would increase their total capacity by 23.876 MMTPA.

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