23rd Standing Committee Report on Petroleum Ministry

The 23rd Standing Committee Report of the Petroleum Ministry offers crucial insights into India’s strategic petroleum reserves (SPRs) and recommends measures to strengthen energy security. UPSC CSE aspirants should pay close attention to this report, as it highlights critical issues and potential solutions relevant to national development and public policy.

Key Recommendations
  1. Strategic Petroleum Reserves: Safeguarding Energy Security through ISPRL
  • Expansion of SPRs: The Committee recommends building more SPR facilities across the country, particularly smaller, regionally located SPRs for faster and more efficient deployment.
  • Leveraging Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve Limited (ISPRL): The Committee emphasizes utilizing ISPRL efficiently, ensuring timely completion of existing projects, and exploring partnerships with state governments for land acquisition.
  • Diversification of Storage Sites: Exploring underground storage options is proposed to address space constraints and improve safety.
  1. Overground Storage
  • Cost-effectiveness: While acknowledging overground storage’s cost advantage, the Committee stresses thorough risk assessment and safety measures to mitigate fire and environmental concerns.
  • Technological Advancements: Investing in innovative technologies like double-walled tanks and fire suppression systems is encouraged.
  1. Reducing Crude Oil Dependency
  • Strategic Reserves of Refined Products: To manage fuel price volatility and dependence on crude oil imports, the Committee recommends storing refined petroleum products like petrol and diesel alongside crude oil.
  • Exploration and Production: Increased domestic oil and gas exploration and production is identified as a key strategy to reduce import dependence.
  1. Funding Imperatives
  • Innovative Financing Mechanisms: Explore alternative funding sources like public-private partnerships or monetization of surplus land to accelerate SPR expansion.
  • Budgetary Allocations: Ensure timely and adequate budgetary allocation for SPR projects to avoid delays and maintain operational readiness.
Limitations in Strategic Petroleum Reserves

The report also acknowledges several limitations that hinder India’s SPR preparedness:

  • Infrastructure Bottlenecks: Existing SPR infrastructure needs upgradation and expansion to meet future needs.
  • Space Constraints: Finding suitable land for large SPR facilities, particularly in densely populated areas, poses a challenge.
  • Funding Gaps: Consistent and timely funding is crucial for maintaining and expanding SPR capacity.

Additional Resources:

23rd Standing Committee Report of the Petroleum Ministry:


Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve Limited (ISPRL):


Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas:


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