(IGP) IAS Pre: GS - Geography - Indian Geography General: Conventional Energy in India

Indian Geography General
Conventional Energy in India


  • Conventional sources of energy contribute about 67% of India’s power production

  • Conventional sources include coal, oil and natural gas

  • Thermal energy (coal, oil, gas) is the largest energy source in India


  • India has the fourth largest reserves of coal in the world (behind USA, Russia and China)

  • India is the world’s third largest consumer and fourth largest producer of coal

  • Coal mining in India began at the initiative of Governor General Warren Hastings at Raniganj (West Bengal) in 1774

  • The East India Company set up M/s Sumner and Heatly for coal mining purpose Coal mining was nationalised in 1971 (coking coal) and 1973 (non-coking coal).Only the Tata Iron and Steel Company and Indian Iron and Steel Company were exempt

  • Coal in India is under the purview of the Ministry of Coal

Important coal mines

Coal mine Location Operator Notes
Singareni Parnahita Godavari valley (Andhra Pradesh) Singareni Collieries Company Ltd. Jointly owneed by AP govt. (51%) andUnion govt. (49%)
Neyveli Tamil Nadu Neyveli Lignite Corporation  
Raniganj West Bengal Bharat Coking Coal Limited  
Jharia Jharkhand Bharat Coking Coal Ltd. Produces bituminous coal suitable for coke
Most of India’s coal comes Jharia Largest supplier of
prime coke coal used in blast furnaces in India
Jharia is famous for a coal field fire that has burnt
underground for nearly a centuary
Talcher Orissa Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd  
IB Valley , Sambalpur Orissa Nayveli Lignite Corporation Ltd.  
Korba Chattisgarh Southeastern Coalfields Ltd.  
Wardah X Maharashtra Western Coalfields Ltd.  


Ultra Mega Power Projects

  • Scheme launched by the government to meet National Electricity Pllicy stipulation of ‘Power for All by 2012
  • The Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPP) scheme envisions adding 100,000 MWof installed capacity by 2012
  • This involves construction of super large power plants each of capacity 4000 MW or more. The UMPP power plants will use coal as fuel
  • The nodal agency for implementing the UMPP scheme is the Power Finance Corporation Ltd.

List of UMPP projects

Project location State Type of project (coal source) Awarded to
Sasan Madhya Pradesh Pit-head (local) Reliance Power Reliance Power
Akaltara Chhattisgarh Pit-head (local)  
Tilaiya Jharkhand Pit-head (local) Reliance Power
Mundra Gujarat Coastal (imported) Tata Power
Krishnapatnam Andhra Pradesh Coastal (imported) Reliance Power
Girye Maharashtra Coastal (imported)  
Tadri Karnataka Coastal (imported)  

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Coal India Ltd. (CIL)

Established 1975, headquarters Kolkata

  • CIL is the largest coal miner in the world. It contributes about 85% of India’s coal production
  • Largest corporate employer and second largest employer in India (after Indian Railways)
  • Second largest owner of land in India (after the India Railwys)
  • Functions under the Ministry of Coal
  • CIL is a Navaratna company
  • CIL has successuflly bid for two coal mines in Mozambique and is in the process of formalising the process
  • CIL has eight subsidiaries:
    • Central Mine Planning & Design Institute, Ranchi
    • Estern Coalifield Ltd., Asansol (West Bengal)
    • Northern Coalifields Ltd., Singrauli (Madhya Pradesh)
    • Sourtheastern Coalifields Ltd., Bilaspur (Chattisgarh)
    • Western Coalifids Ltd, Nagpur
    • Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd, Mabalpur (Orissa)
    • Central Coalields Ltd, Ranchi
    • Bharat Coking Coal Ltd, Dhanbad (Jharkhand)
    • Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd. (NCL)
  • Eastablished in 1956, Headquarters Chennai
  • Functions under the Ministry of Coal
  • Lignite has only about 70% carbon and so produces less energy, but burns without coking and has low ash content
  • The NLC operates the nation’s largest open pit lignite mines
  • NLC operates thermal power plants in addition to three large mines.
  • The Neyveli Thermal Power Stations are India’s first and only lignite fired thermal power stations
  • The Neyveli mines are located on a huge ground water acquifer. The NLC supplies this sweet water is supplied to Chennai city


  • India has total crude oil reserves of 775 millionmetric tonnes and natural gas reserves of 1074 billion cubic meters
  • The primary sources of natural gas in India are the offshore platforms on the western coast.
    Other sources include onshore fields in Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, and lesser quantities in Tamil Nadu, Tripura and Rajasthan
  • The largest oil fields in India are the Bombay High offshore fields. Bombay High contributes about 38% of domestic production and 14% of national consumption
  • The largest natural gas reserves have been found to be in the Krishna-Godavari basin. This discovery was made by Reliance Industries in 2002
  • The largest petroleum refinery in India is located at Jamnagar (Gurarat). It is owney by Reliance PetroleumLtd.
  • The oldest petroleumrefinery is atGuwahati. It was established on 1st January 1962 with assistance from Romania
  • Part of the natural gas produced inMaharashtra is fed into the HBJ national pipeline. Gas fromother sources is usually used locally
  • The primary markets for petroleum and natural gas in India include power generation, industrial and domestic fuels, tea plantations, and non-energy applications such as manufacture of fertilizers and petrochemicals
  • The first discovery of oil in India was in Digboi, Asam in 1889
  • Oil and natural gas comes under the purview of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas

Strategic petroleum reserves

  • Government has decided to set up 5 million metric tonnes of crude oil reserves to ensure energy security. These strategic reserves will be in addition to existing storages at the oil companies
  • These storage facilities are to be established at Mangalore, Vishakapatnam and Padam (near Udipi, Karnataka)
  • Proposed strategic reserves to be unde rIndian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL), a Special Purpose Vehicle under the Oil Industry Development Board
  • The proposed sites are located in the east and west coasts so that they are readily accessible torefineries through marine route
  • The strategic reserves are to be in underground rock caverns, which are considered to be the safest means of storing hydrocarbons
  • The strategic crude oil reserves are expected to be operational by 2012

Important foreign exploration & production projects of Indian companies

Project Location Type Executor
Rakhin Myanmar Natural Ggas ONGC, GAIL
Sakhalin Far east Russia Oil, gas ONGC
Tomsk Western Siberia, Russia Oil ONGC
Lan Tay Vietnam Gas ONGC
Farsi Iran Gas ONGC ,OIL, IOCL
Western Desert Iraq Oil ONGC (contract to be
Eastern Syria Syria Oil ONGC
North Ramadan Egypt Oil ONGC
North East Mediterranean Deepwater
Concession (NEMED)
Egypt Gas ONGC
Campos Basin Brazil Oil ONGC
Mansarovar Energy Project Colombia Oil ONGC
San Cristobal Project Venezuela Oil ONGC
Muglad Basin Sudan Oil ONGC
Greate Nile Oil Project Sudan Oil ONGC
Block Shakti Gabon   OIL, IOCL
Sirte Basin Libya   OIL, ONGC, IOCL
Ghadames Basin Libya   OIL, IOCL
Niger Delta Nigeria   OIL, IOCL
Messila Basin Yemen   OIL, IOCL

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC)

  • Established 1956, headquarters Dehradun
  • The ONGC contributes 77% of India’s oil production and 81% of natural gas production
  •  The ONGC is the highest profut making corporation in India (USD 5 billion). It also the largest Indian company in oil exploration
  • ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) has a presence in 16 countries esp in Latin America, Africa, Middle East, CIS and the Far East
  • OVL’s first overseas oil exploration project was the Rostam and Raksh oil fields in Iran
  • OVL’s first major oil find was the LanTay and LanDo oil fields in Vietnam
  • Functions under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas

Oil India Ltd. (OIL)

  • OIL is Asia’s oldest petroleum and natural gas company
  • Established 1889, incorporated 1959. Headquarters Noida
  • The predecessor of OIL made the first oil discovery in India 1889
  • OIL’s operations are mostly concentrated in the northeast
  • Functions under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL)
  • It is India’s largest natural gas company
  • Eastablished 1984, headquarters New Delhi
  • GAIL commissioned the 2800 kmHazira-Vijaipur-Jagdishpur (HVJ) natural gas pipeline in 1991
  • GAIL set up north India’s only petrochemical at Pata (Uttar Pradesh) in 1999
  • Functions under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH)
  • Eastablished in 1993, office in New Delhi
  • Acts as an advisory and regulatory body for oil and gas exploration and production in India
  • Objectives of the DGH include
    • Promote sound management of oil and natural gas resources
    • Develop balanced regard for environment, safety, technology and R&D
  • The DGH is responsible for implementation of New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP), production sharing contracts for oil and gas discoveries, and monitoring and review of reservoir performance of producing fields
  • Functions under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas Petroleum refinement
  • There are three public sector enterprises and tro private entrerprises in petroleum refinement: Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum, Hindustan Petroleum, Reliance Petroleum and Essar Oil
  • Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) is the largest in pertroleum refinement and distribution. It accounts for 47% of pertoleumproducts and 40% of refining capacity

The IOCL is also the largest commercial enterprise in India

Refinery State Operator Notes
Digboi Assam Indian Oil India’s oldest refinery (1901)
Guwahati Assam Indian Oil First public sector refinery
Barauni Bihar Indian Oil  
Koyali Gujarat Indian Oil  
Haldia West Bengal Indian Oil  
Mathura Uttar Pradesh Indian Oil  
Panipat Haryana Indian Oil  
Jamnagar Gujarat Reliance Largest refining complex in
the world
Manali Tamil Nadu Indian Oil (Chennai
PetroleumCorporation Ltd.
Bombay High Maharashtra Bharat Petroleum  
Kochi Kerala Bharat Petroleum  
Vishakapatanam Andhra Pradesh Hindustan Petroleum  
Vadinagar Gujarat Essar Oil  

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