Since the change of regime in Rajasthan, the project has not seen much progress.
Former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the Vasundhara Raje government was delaying the Barmer Refinery project out of ‘spite and vindictiveness’, even as oil fields there were consistently witnessing record oil production.
He said that at present, crude oil generated in the oil fields of Barmer had to be piped to Gujarat for refining, leading to loss of precious Value Added Tax to Rajasthan.
“Western Rajasthan is producing so much oil…keeping the region’s potential in mind, the central government had initiated the process of setting up a refinery here in Barmer…But CM Vasundhara Raje seems to be acting against the refinery (project) out of spite and vindictiveness. Even the Petroluem Minister and Prime Minister Narendra Modi who always talks about development, are silent,” Gehlot said.
According to oil and gas exploration company Cairn Energy, the Barmer oil fields have recorded the production of 30 crore barrels of crude oil since 2009. “We have created history here. Within six years, we have crossed the 30-crore barrel figure. The nation’s energy security is fuelled by such team efforts as we have made here,” Cairn India CEO Mayank Ashar told employees in Barmer.
The Barmer Refinery and Petrochemical Complex was a flagship project of the previous Congress state government led by Ashok Gehlot. AICC president Sonia Gandhi had laid the foundation stone of the refinery in September 2013.
The project, however, had faced a vociferous protest by Sonaram Chaudhary, now the BJP MP from Barmer, over the location of the refinery within Barmer. Since the change of regime in Rajasthan, the project has not seen much progress.