India will keep its strategic and economic interests in mind while supplying crude oil: Dharmendra Pradhan

New Delhi India, the world’s third-largest oil importer, said on Friday that it would supply crude oil from any country with cheap and favorable conditions.

Asked about India’s position, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said India would take decisions based on strategic and economic interests. He was speaking at the Times Network India Economic Conclave.

He added that Indian oil marketing companies are free of source oil from any part of the world.

“Any country that offers favorable trade conditions, whether it’s the United States or Iraq or the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia. India’s ‘common man’ is most interested in our decision, “said Pradhan.

US crude oil exports to India rose to 22.1 million metric tonnes in February, helping to upset Saudi Arabia, India’s second-largest supplier. Following OPEC-Plus Grouping’s decision to block supply, India is working to diversify the country’s fuel basket with the supply of crude oil from the Petroleum Exporting Countries (APEC) formula.

“It’s not an issue of who we’re going to be close to. The problem is who will take care of our interests. Today, Iraq is the number one supplier of our necessities. We are also taking large quantities from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE is a very reliable partner for India in the supply of crude oil. We also have some offtech conditions from Kuwait from some African countries. We are open, we are a free market, ”says the chief.

India expressed dissatisfaction with the ‘backtracking’ on OPEC’s promises as domestic petrol and diesel prices were at record highs. Saudi Arabia, on its part, has asked India to use crude oil purchased at lower prices and to stockpile its strategic crude oil reserves.

The chief called the response “an indomitable response from some of our closest friends.”

India bought crude oil at an average price of ১৯ 19 per barrel to strategically store crude oil, saving ৮ 85.11 million in the process. India has taken advantage of the depressing prices and lack of demand due to the coronavirus epidemic to store these stocks and has an existing storage capacity of 53 million at Visakhapatnam (1.33 million tonnes), Mangalore (1.3 million tonnes) and Parur (2.5 m). Tons (mega) met.

“I humbly disagree with this approach. “Of course, India has sown the strategy of when and how to use its own storage and we are aware of our interests,” he said.

While global crude oil prices are under control after maintaining the upward trajectory, prices have risen again as the Suez Canal has been blocked.

India is particularly vulnerable, as any increase in global prices could affect its import bill, push up inflation and widen the trade deficit. The crude price of Indian baskets comprising Oman, Dubai and Brent crude was 62 25 62.12 a barrel on March 25. After the Kovid outbreak, crude oil prices in India fell to ১৯ 19.90 a barrel in February from ১ 1.22 a barrel in February.

“We will take oil from those who provide us with cheap and easily available (oil). This is our priority. “Whatever the country is and whatever needs to be done for it, we will do it,” Pradhan said.

It also comes at a time when India is leaning on its old energy partner Russia to protect its customers from price shocks, and the two countries have come up with an approach to protect both buyers and sellers from sharp global price volatility, as previously reported by Mint. India is also eyeing a longer-term crude oil deal with Russia.

India spent 10 101.4 billion on crude oil imports in 2019-20 and 1 111.9 billion in 2018-19. It is a core refinery in Asia, with an installed capacity of more than 249.36 million tons per year (MTPA). It has 23 refineries and plans to increase its refining capacity to 400 MTPA by 2025.

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