But the rapid rise in oil consumption and high import dependence on imports also makes energy security as a key political priority for New Delhi in the aftermath of the global energy crisis and market disruption following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, the agency’s latest report on India’s oil market said.
“India’s role in global oil markets is expected to expand substantially over the remainder of the decade, fuelled by strong growth in its economy, population and demographics,” the report, released at the India Energy Week, said.
India became the fourth-largest exporter of middle distillates globally and the sixth largest refinery product exporter at 1.2 million barrels per day (mb/d) in 2023, it said. On the demand side, the report said India is on track to post an increase of almost 1.2 mb/d of oil, accounting for more than one-third of the projected 3.2 mb/d global gains, to reach 6.6 mb/d by 2030.
India has an annual refining capacity of 250 million tonnes and is expected to reach 240 million tonnes by 2030. The country emerged as an exporter of products after Reliance Industries Ltd and Essar (now known as Nayara) built large refineries in Gujarat between 1999 and 2008, respectively.
Reliance dominates exports to the Atlantic basin and Southeast Asia, while Nayara is focused on Africa. India exported 45.2 mt of petroproducts in the April-December period of 2023-24 fiscal compared to 45.4 mt in 2022-23.
Indian petroproducts exports, buoyed by cheap Russian crude since the Ukraine conflict, prevented a global product shortage by filling the void created after Europe and the US stopped buying Russian supplies.
India is set to maintain its position as a key exporter of transport fuels as continued investment in refining capacity and complexity will boost light and middle distillate production. The IEA saw new capacity boosting global product exports to 1.4 mb/d through mid-decade before edging lower to 1.2 mb/d by 2030, given the steady rise in domestic demand.