India's oil import bill jumped nearly 100% to $119 billion in FY22

India's crude oil import bill nearly doubled to $119 billion in the 2021-22 fiscal year, as energy prices soared globally because of the Ukraine war.
India's oil import bill jumped nearly 100% to $119 billion in FY22
Representative Image Reuters

New Delhi: India's crude oil import bill nearly doubled to $119 billion in the fiscal year that ended on March 31, as energy prices soared globally following the return of demand and war in Ukraine.

India, the world's third-biggest oil consuming and importing nation, spent $119.2 billion in 2021-22 (April 2021 to March 2022), up from $62.2 billion in the previous fiscal year, according to data from the oil ministry's Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell (PPAC).

It spent $13.7 billion in March alone when oil prices surged to a 14-year high, compared with $8.4 billion in spending in the same month last year.

Oil prices started to surge in January, and rates crossed $100 per barrel in the following month before touching $140 per barrel in early March. Prices have since receded and are now around $106 per barrel.

According to PPAC, India imported 212.2 million tonnes of crude oil in 2021-22, up from 196.5 million tonnes in the previous year. This was, however, lower than pre-pandemic imports of 227 million tonnes in 2019-20. The spending on oil imports in 2019-20 was $101.4 billion.

The imported crude oil is turned into value-added products like petrol and diesel at oil refineries before being sold to automobiles and other users.

India, which is 85.5 per cent dependent on imports to meet crude oil needs, has a surplus refining capacity. It exports some petroleum products but is short on the production of cooking gas LPG, which is imported from nations like Saudi Arabia.

The nation consumed 202.7 million tonnes of petroleum products in 2021-22, up from 194.3 million tonnes in the previous fiscal but lower than the pre-pandemic 214.1 million tonnes demand in 2019-20.

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