Oil Producers Cannot Demand Ransom From Consumers, Says Indian Petroleum Minister, Auto News, ET Auto

Hardeep Singh Puri

India said on Friday that oil-producing countries could not demand a ransom from consumers, highlighting the country’s growing frustration with OPEC + for not increasing production to cool prices.

India, the world’s third largest importer and consumer of oil, imports around 85% of its oil needs and has been hit hard by rising oil prices. Oil prices eased on Friday, however, amid concerns over a new variant of COVID-19 detected in South Africa. [O/R]

“Producer countries cannot hold consumer countries to ransom for various reasons. We will make the transition and we will do our production and in the short term we will also face it, perhaps by reorienting our own priorities, ”India’s Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said at an award ceremony. industry awards.

The nation has repeatedly urged OPEC +, which is made up of countries belonging to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, including Russia, to increase production to calm prices.

Ahead of the OPEC + meeting next week to set production policy, Puri criticized major producers for keeping supply below demand.

Oil prices are determined by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Russia under OPEC +, Puri said at a separate event hosted by Republic TV.

“They’ve kept the supply curve below demand. They say it’s temporary for one to two months, after which there will be more supply available than demand,” Puri said in Hindi at the time. of the Indian Economic Summit organized by Republic TV.

He said India will continue to be a major driver of global energy demand over the next 20 to 30 years, despite planned measures to move closer to green energy.

“We have told the producing countries that if you are not careful, you will be in a situation where your desire to maximize your profits in the short term will jeopardize the global economic recovery,” he said. “If the global economic recovery is in jeopardy, then who are you selling the oil to? ”

India, along with other major oil consumers China, Japan, South Korea and the United States, on Tuesday announced plans to release oil from strategic reserves in a bid to cool prices. .

“The strategic oil release, whether symbolic or real, I don’t know, but it’s a very bold move,” Puri said.

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The 5 million barrels are roughly equivalent to a day’s consumption in the country, implying that it is more of a symbolic gesture in tandem with the United States, Japan and other major economies to unite against OPEC’s rule over high crude prices.

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