India again urges OPEC to phase out oil production

The OPEC logo pictured before an informal meeting between members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Algiers, Algeria, September 28, 2016. REUTERS / Ramzi Boudina

NEW DELHI, June 24 (Reuters) – India’s Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Thursday again urged the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to phase out crude production cuts as high prices fuel inflation .

India, the third largest importer and consumer of oil in the world, depends on foreign supplies for more than 80% of its oil needs. Indian fuel retail prices have reached an all time high due to rising oil prices and heavy local taxes.

In a series of tweets after a virtual meeting with OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Pradhan said oil prices should stay within a reasonable range to encourage a consumer-led recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this year, New Delhi repeatedly blamed cuts in oil production by Saudi Arabia and other major producers for pushing up crude prices as its economy struggles to recover from the pandemic . Read more

However, relations between New Delhi and Riyadh deteriorated after Saudi Oil Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman advised India to use stocks of crude it had bought at low prices during the fall in prices in 2020. Pradhan called Abdulaziz’s response “non-diplomatic”. Read more

As a result, Indian state refiners reduced their purchases of oil from the kingdom in May. Refiners, however, resumed their normal purchases from June as Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East provided liquid medical oxygen and medical aid to help India fight the second wave. deadly coronavirus. Read more

On Thursday, Pradhan thanked OPEC and key partner countries Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates again for their support during the second wave of the covid pandemic.

Reporting by Nidhi Verma Editing by Mark Heinrich

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