This special section about India is of special relevance because providing affordable energy is a key requirement for economic development in our nation. Rapid urbanization and industrialization after India's independence led to a multifold increase in petroleum consumption and the demand for petroleum products continues to grow with no sign of abatement. Presently, India produces about 820 000 barrels of crude oil per day but consumes about 2 560 000 barrels per day. This means that India can produce only 30% of the petroleum products that it consumes. Similarly, gas production is about 29.4 billion m3 per day and we consume about 32.1 billion m3 per day, a total which is expected to increase many times. This indicates that there is a huge gap between the indigenous production and demand which is likely to increase in the years to come.

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