Friday, Mar 21, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
Addressing a press conference here in the wake of Gulf War, Mr. Naik said Indian oil companies were asked not to shut-down their refineries for maintenance at this crucial time. According to him, oil companies have also contracted for import of oil from countries outside the war zone, in case of any disruption. "This would meet 65 per cent of our requirements,'' he added. However he did not give names of the countries.
Further, India is also having an additional source of supply of oil from Sudan as Oil and Natural Gas Corporation signed a joint venture agreement with it recently. This will help India get additional three million tonnes of crude. If the conflict continues for a long time "our present indigenous supply can also be increased,'' Mr. Naik added. The Government is also working on a scheme to build additional tankage capacity to maintain strategic oil reserves.
Mr. Naik said the domestic oil prices would depend on the international oil prices. However, he said the public sector oil companies would be able to maintain the prices of petrol and diesel and the present situation was only temporary.
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