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net zero carbon: Oil India to invest Rs 25,000 crore for net zero by 2040

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State-owned Oil India Ltd plans to invest Rs 25,000 crore in clean energy projects that will help it achieve a net zero carbon emission goal by 2040, its chairman Ranjit Rath said on Thursday. OIL’s net zero plan includes a combination of cutting down the flaring of gas and commercialisation of stranded gas as well as setting up renewable electricity generation capacity, building green hydrogen plants and constructing biogas and ethanol plants.

The company plans to lay an 80-kilometer pipeline to bring natural gas from fields in Arunachal Pradesh to Assam to help replace polluting liquid fuels in transport as well as industries, he told a news conference.

It is also looking to convert some of the pipelines originally built to transport crude oil, to help flow gas, he said.

“Our Rs 25,000 crore commitment is for for array of activities including green hydrogen, compressed biogas plants, renewable portfolio. geothermal energy, zero flaring initiative, CCUS projects, and 2G ethanol plants,” he said.
OIL plans to invest about Rs 9,000 crore in setting up 1,800 megawatts of solar and onshore wind energy projects and Rs 3,000 crore in a green hydrogen project. Besides, Rs 1,000 crore would be invested in carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) projects. It already has firmed up plans for 640 MW of solar projects in Assam and another 150 MW in Himachal Pradesh, he said. “We are looking at ways to advance the net zero target to 2038,” he said. OIL joins fellow state-owned firms who are investing billions of dollars to help India as a nation achieve net zero by 2070.

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the nation’s biggest oil firm, is targeting net zero by 2046 while oil and gas producer ONGC has announced Rs 2 lakh crore investment to achieve the same goal by 2038.

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and gas utility GAIL (India) Ltd too are targeting 2040 to achieve net zero carbon emissions from their operations while Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) wants to do so by 2046.

Rath said OIL is working on a 4+ mission of raising crude oil production to over 4 million tonnes and gas output to 5 billion cubic metres.

“We produced 3.2 million tonnes of crude in 2022-23 (April 2022 to March 2023). This year we have an aspiration target of reaching 3.8 million tonnes and by 2024-25 we plan to achieve the 4+ mission,” he said.

This is being planned to be achieved using a combination of increasing exploration to tap newer reservoirs as well as using technology to increase output from existing fields.

OIL has planned a capital expenditure of Rs 7,500 crore in the current fiscal (April 2023 to March 2024), up from Rs 5,500 crore of last fiscal, he said.

“OIL has set for itself an ambitious target of transforming itself to a ‘net-zero’ emission company by 2040 through a range of initiatives, including adopting cleaner energy sources, investing in renewable energy projects and implementing advanced technologies to minimise greenhouse gas emissions, for which about Rs 25,000 crore is envisaged to be invested by 2040,” he said.

The firm is looking to build green hydrogen and compressed biogas plants through its subsidiary Numaligarh Refinery Ltd.

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