India reviews its hydrocarbon security, considers SPR

By an OGJ correspondent

MUMBAI, May 29 -- The Indian Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has revived an earlier plan to build strategic petroleum reserves as a way to protect the country from possible oil supply disruptions.

The move assumes significance, given India's military posture against Pakistan. Indian and Pakistani forces exchanged mortar rounds and gunfire in disputed Kashmir Wednesday.

Government officials recently met with petroleum industry representatives to discuss the need for maintaining strategic oil reserves.

Simultaneously, the PMO decided that it would appoint a consortium of agencies to review hydrocarbon security and to develop a contingency plan. A senior official said that the contingency plan would address the possibility of a long-term disruption in oil supply, a prolonged spike in crude oil prices, and the persisting conflict in western Asia.

State-owned firms Oil & Natural Gas Corp. and Gas Authority of India Ltd. will be involved in the hydrocarbon security study, officials said. Meanwhile, the PMO is awaiting a report from the Institute of Defense Studies and Analysis concerning the security of oil reserves.

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