Higher Fuel Prices Pinch

India’s new oil minister dials OPEC countries

18 July, 2021 12:00 AM printer

NEW DELHI: India, the world’s third-biggest oil consumer, has conveyed to OPEC countries its concern over high oil prices that are threatening to impact the nascent economic recovery after the devastating pandemic.

New Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has made phone calls to key OPEC nations to convey the desire for an affordable price for consumers, report agencies.

After calling his counterparts in Qatar and the UAE, he called Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) kingpin Saudi Arabia on Thursday evening.

“Had a warm and friendly discussion with His Royal Highness, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman Al Saud, Minister of Energy of Saudi Arabia on strengthening bilateral energy partnership and developments in the global energy markets,” Puri tweeted.

Saudi Arabia, he said, is a central player in the international energy market.

“I conveyed my desire to work with His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz to bring greater predictability and calm in the global oil markets, and also to see hydrocarbons become more affordable,” he said.

Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest exporter of crude oil and India’s second-biggest source after Iraq.

The discussions focused “on strengthening bilateral energy partnership and developments in the global energy markets,” he said.

“Highlighted the crucial role of Saudi Arabia in rapidly growing energy needs of India in the coming years, and my strong desire to work with His Royal Highness to further diversify our bilateral strategic energy partnership beyond buyer-seller to see greater two-way investments.”

Concerned over the rising oil prices, India has been reaching out to key oil producers in the Middle East.

Puri on July 14 called UAE Minister of Industry Ahmed Al Jaber, who is the chief executive of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC), seeking the UAE’s support in lowering prices.

The rebound in international oil prices from lows hit in May on the back of demand recovery has sent petrol and diesel rates to a record high in India.

Petrol has crossed the Rs-100-a-litre mark in more than one and a half dozen states and union territories, while diesel is being sold at over Rs 100 a litre in Rajasthan and Odisha.


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