G20 Global Marine Environment Protection (GMEP) Initiative

On Sharing Best Practices to Protect the Marine Environment, to Prevent Accidents related to Offshore Oil and Gas Exploration and Development, as well as Marine Transportation, and to Deal with Their Consequences

India – Introduction

India has a long coastline of more than 7500 km. Its marine resources are spread over in the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, and Bay of Bengal. The east coast supports activities such as agriculture and aquaculture while a number of industries are supported on the west coast.

The first discovery oil in India was made in 1889 at Digboi in Assam. Offshore seismic surveys carried out in the Bombay Offshore in 1972-73 resulted in the identification of a large structure in Bombay Offshore which was taken up for drilling in 1974, leading to India’s biggest commercial discovery, thereby establishing a new hydrocarbon province. Production from east coast offshore started in 1993. Today 53 % of crude oil and 81% of natural gas is being produced from offshore.  Subsequently, New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) was launched by the Government of India for accelerating the pace of hydrocarbon exploration in the country. After nine rounds of NELP, 164 discoveries are made by different oil companies.

Although more than 70% of its crude oil requirements is met from imports, India has developed sufficient refining capacity over the years and now India is net exporter of petroleum products.

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