SK Barua

It is said that every act of energy conservation is an act of patriotism. The call of the hour today is to conserve, conserve, and conserve energy. Around 84% of global primary energy demand is met by fossil fuels, out of which oil contributes - 33%, natural gas - 24% and coal - 27%. Fossil fuels, formed naturally, takes millions of years to form. Present known viable reserves are depleting faster than the rate at which new ones are being generated. At present, world’s oil reserve to production ratio is 50 years, that is  proven oil reserve will last for 50 years at present rate of oil consumption. For India, the reserve to production ratio is even less at only 15 years.

EIA (Energy Information Administration, USA) forecasts that oil consumption will rise from current 95mb/d (113 lakh Ton per day) to more than 100mb/d (119 lakh Ton per day) in 2021.As Global oil demand rebounds, Asia accounts for 77% of oil demand growth through 2025. At the same time, oil production in the region declines. Consequently, Asian oil import requirements in 2025 will surpass 37 lakh Ton/day.

India is currently the third largest energy consumer in the world after China and USA. According to EIAIndia will be the main driver of rising demand for energy over the next two decades accounting for 25% of global growth with consumption of nearly 6 lakh Ton/day of oil . We are heavily dependent as more than 85% of our oil and gas is imported. India’s oil and gas import bill is around Rs 9 lakh crores per annum, which is 25% of total imports. This has a big impact in the economy.

We need to ensure that our next wave of growth is met with renewables. Conservation measures undertaken for fossil fuels now will play a significant role in securing future energy needs. Today, India’s per capita oil consumption is 172 kg compared to 3,148 kg for the USA (18 times more).

India’s crude oil production in FY 2019-20 stood at 30.5 million ton per annum as compared to demand of 250 million ton per annum of refining capacity . As per BP Energy Outlook 2019, India's energy consumption will jump from the current 6 per cent of global demand to 11 per cent in 2040. India’s consumption of petroleum products grew 4.5% to 213.69 million ton during FY20 from 213.22 million ton in FY19.

Since 2017, MoPNG extended the Oil & Gas Conservation Fortnight (OGCF) to a month long programme under the acronym SAKSHAM ( SanrakshanKshamta Mahotsav) spearheaded by its nodal agency PCRA (Petroleum Conservation Research Association)  seeking citizens to participate in fuel conservation for health and environment protection and simultaneously help in reducing India’s dependency on import of crude oil.

Oil and gas conservation is a continuous process and Numaligarh Refinery is focused on continual improvement in energy conservation and efficiency in operation since its inception, and thereby optimize the operating cost of the refinery.

The key refinery indices for measuring energy performance are Specific Energy Consumption (SEC) i.e energy required to process a barrel of crude and Energy Intensity Index (EII) i.e benchmark parameter on actual energy consumed vs standard energy required to process crude to finished products. In both these indices, NRL has made significant improvement in the last decade. NRL improved its SEC from 72 to 65, a decrease of 7 points in past four years thereby saving  more than 23,000 metric ton of oil equivalent per annum.

Numaligarh refinery has been recognized as the first PSU refinery in India to achieve the Energy Intensity Index (EII) target set by Solomon Associates, a leading consulting firm in refinery benchmarking. Worldwide, the average refinery improves energy efficiency by one EII point per year. NRL team has improved EII by a rate four-times the world average in moving from 116 in the year 2010 to 85 in the year 2018. This translates to saving of 1.0 lakh ton of fuel and reduction of 4 lakh ton of CO2 emission. Raised awareness through external benchmarking and actionable insights provided by Solomon Associates helped motivate our Company to attain this high rate of performance improvement. NRL is ranked among top 25% refineries (1st quartile) in the Asia/Pacific/Indian Ocean region in EII performance. Another flagship programme of National Mission for enhanced energy efficiency (NMEEE), GOI driven by Ministry of Power which includes refining sector is Perform Achieve and Trade (PAT). In PAT, NRL got verified its energy performance for 2018-19 and earned 4239 tradable ES Certs (Energy savings certificate) on overachievement above the assigned targets.

NRL could achieve noteworthy performance in energy efficiency by undertaking sustained effort towards Energy efficiency and conservation measures. We are committed to execute various Energy Conservation schemes on yearly basis. The measures primarily include replacement, modification, and installation of energy efficient equipment, adopting advanced technology and close monitoring of performance. And our journey continues.

(Published on the occasion of SAKSHAM 2021)

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