India planning four more strategic oil reserves: minister

The centre proposes to set up strategic oil reserves in at least four more locations - in Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Odisha - having a combined capacity of around 12.5 million tonnes, union minister for petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan said on Friday.

The petroleum ministry has already set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) - Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL) - for setting up such reserves, he said.

The first of such reserves are already being set up in Visakhapatnam (with storage capacity of 1.33 million tonnes, Mangalore (1.5 million tonnes) and Padur near Chennai in Tamil Nadu with a capacity of 2.5 million tonnes.

The strategic crude oil reserves in Odisha and other states will be set up in the second phase, the minister said.

Pradhan said the government has decided to set up a strategic reserve for storing 3.75 million tonnes of crude oil at Chandikhol in Jajpur district with an investment of Rs3,800 crore.

Announcing this at a news conference in Bhubaneswar on Friday, the minister said the Odisha government has been requested to provide 400 acres of land for setting up the project. The project, when completed, will have the capacity to store eight days requirement of crude oil in the country, he said.

Odisha will receive about Rs100,000 crore worth of investment during the coming five years in petrochemicals , oil and gas pipelines, LNG and LPG terminals, strategic oil reserve, etc, including Rs34,000 crore invested in Paradip refinery. Odisha will be one of the few states which will have gas from three sources- imported LNG, domestic natural gas and coal bed methane (CBM), making Odisha the 'Energy Gateway' for Eastern India, he said.

He said these projects will change the industrial landscape of Odisha. These projects put together will generate employment opportunity for more than 50,000 youth of the state. The petroleum ministry is also setting up hydrocarbon skill sector council, which, inter alia, will develop skill and entrepreneurship of youth in trades specific to petroleum and natural gas sector.

One of the regional centers for development of skill and entrepreneurship will be set up in Odisha, which will cater to the skill needs of the youth of Odisha and the other states of the eastern region, he said.