When India got independence in 1947, our consumption of oil was very meagre. In 1951 our production of minerals oil was 2.69 lakh tonnes and our consumption stood at 3.1 lakh tonnes. These figures have risen to 338 lakh tonnes and 845 lakh tonnes respectively in 1997-98. As a result we have been spending increasingly on our imports of mineral oil to meet out ever increasing demand.

In 1989-90, our production of natural gas was 169.8 crore cubic metres. It rose to 246 crore cubic metres in 1997-98. We are deficient in power resources. So natural gas is of prime importance to us. Consumption and utilisation of natural gas is increasing in the country by leaps and bounds. If we go on increasing our production of mineral oil and natural gas, the day is not far away when we shall be able to cut our imports and run towards self-sufficiency in these two vital energy and power resources.