Oil Sector Current Affairs - 2019

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Petroleum Ministry sets up National Data Repository

Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) has set up state of-the-art National Data Repository which is database of all geo-scientific data of hydrocarbon resources in the country. It is equipped with cutting-edge technology and will provide ready access to interested companies. With this, India has joined league of countries like UK and Norway which have National Data Repository for the upstream sector.

National Data Repository (NDR)

It is integrated data repository of Exploration and Production (E&P) data of Indian sedimentary basins. Its main objective is to provide reliable exploration and production data for India with provisions for seamless access and online data management.

It is hosted at Noida based Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), the technical arm of MoPNG. It offers unique platform to all E&P Operators, E&P Investors, E&P Service Companies and Academia to delve inside diverse E&P datasets of Indian sedimentary basins.

Key goals of NDR

  • Validate, store, maintain and reproduce high quality and reliable geoscientific data.
  • Facilitate efficient data reporting, data exchange and data trading among existing players including all geoscientific agencies.
  • Improve DGH’s ability to monitor and control the exploration and production activities and reporting.
  • Encourage new exploration and production activities by providing high quality and reliable data.
  • Strengthen overall geoscientific activities in India.
  • Support an open acreage system for an improved global exploration and production business environment in India.
  • Provide quality E & P data for processing, interpretation and visualization centres at DGH.

Benefits of NDR

  • It will primarily safeguard national exploration and production data asset.
  • It will help and promote exploration and production activities in India.
  • It will store and maintain hydrocarbon exploration and production data in safe and reusable manner, in perpetuity.
  • The data under will be preserved in accordance with generally accepted NDR standards and made available to entitled users.
  • It will enhance prospects of petroleum exploration and facilitate bidding rounds by improving availability of quality data.

Mongolia launches construction of its first oil refinery with $1 billion Indian aid

Mongolia has launched construction of its first strategically important oil refinery funded by India in southern Dornogovi province. The ground-breaking ceremony of long-awaited project was attended by Mongolian Prime Minister Khurelsukh Ukhnaa and Indian Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh. 

Key Facts

The refinery will be capable of processing 1.5 million tonnes of crude oil per year. That is about 30,000 barrels per day (bpd). It planned for completion in late 2022. On completion, it will meet all of the nation’s demand for gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

The cost of the refinery is estimated at $1.35 billion, and it will include a pipeline and its own power plant. Its financing is part of $1 billion soft credit line agreement between Mongolia and Export-Import Bank of India, made during 2015 official visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The refinery will process Mongolia’s own crude oil, which is now sold to China. The large landlocked country wedged between giants China and Russia had produced 7.6 million barrels of oil in 2017, about 21,000 bpd, amounting to 6% of its total export earnings.


The strategically important oil refinery will make Mongolia independent from energy imports and stabilise fuel and commodity prices in its domestic markets. It is expected to boost Mongolia’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 10%. It will end country’s dependence on Russian fuel as it imported almost 1.5 million tonnes of oil products in 2017, virtually all from Russia, thus diversifying its sources of oil products from the current single source. The refinery is expected to increase Magnolia’s crude oil output, helping it to increase its export earnings. The refinery project is also considered as important milestone in bilateral ties between India and Mongolia.