Petroleum has brought enumerable benefits to human civilization; quality of life and dynamic prosperity is fueled by this precious, miraculous resource.
Petroleum is the lifeline of modern civilization. It is the source of energy for agricultural, industrial and transport sectors and keeps the wheel of other essential industries moving. In fact, there is no conceivable area where energy does not play its vital role.
Petroleum currently provides 90 per cent of energy used for transportation, and while its benefits are astounding, the use of petroleum-based technologies also has cost.
The environmental impacts associated with extracting and transporting petroleum remain a major issue, as the extraction of petroleum can affect fragile ecosystems. However, oil companies continue to develop new techniques and enhanced recovery methods, which reduce the footprint of drilling equipment and the amount of land affected.
Perhaps the m«st serious concern, the combustion of fossil fuels contributes a variety of emissions to the atmosphere and releases carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas. These emissions have modified atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, which play an important role in moderating global temperatures. Therefore, there is considerable interest in reducing our reliance on petroleum-based technologies.
At the time of independence, India produced crude oil from only one onshore field in Digboi, Assam. At that time, the country depended upon imports for international oil companies controlled 90 per cent of petroleum products and the industry. With Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd. (OIL), the production today has increased to over 34 MMTPA by technology upgradation and assimilation. During this period exploration and production activity has grown in its scope and has moved from onshore to offshore.
Natural Gas Corporation associated with oil production, which was flared at the well head in the earlier day, is now being harnessed and supplied for power generation to gas-based power plants, as raw material units including petrochemical industry.
Natural gas production has risen from 'nil' at the time of independence to about 29 billion cubic meters during the five decades of planned economic development and it is taken to the consumer through an extensive network of 4100 kms. Gas pipeline system
Petroleum is an exhaustible resource and the industry has been conscious of this attribute. To promote efficient and economic uses of energy, Petroleum Conservation and Research Association (PCRA) has been functioning for last two decades.
PCRA has done enormous work in mass awareness energy conservation in industrial, transport, and household and agriculture sectors through energy audits and studies and by continuously educating the users of petroleum products on importance and urgency of energy conservation. The task is enormous as it includes highly qualified engineers, drivers or automobiles, housewives and farmers.