India refines more oil than the domestic requirement and the government seeks to develop the country as a refinery hub, Lok Sabha was informed today.
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said domestic requirement is 160 MMT, while India refines 215 MMT.
He said it helps the country earn foreign exchange.
Pradhan said the country also seeks to fulfil the need of SAARC countries and other developing economies.
He said while some Gulf countries produce crude, they lack refining capacity. This, he said, has led to a situation where curde is cheaper while refined product is costly in those countries.
The Minister was responding to a supplementary on country reaching a saturation point in refined oil production.
He said while several companies have appilied for refinery in the private sector, Essar and Reliance have been contributing to the country's refinery production.
The refinery sector was delicenced in June, 1998 and a refinery can be set up anywhere in India by a private or public sector company depending on its techno-commercial viability.
"The present capacity is more than the demand of petroleum products in the country. Hence, the country is now a net exporter of petroleum products. India has been exporting surplus petroleum products since 2001-02," he said.
India has exported petroleum products to the tune of Rs 3,68,279 crore during 2013-14.