No one has told India not to buy oil from Russia, says Union minister Hardeep Puri in Washington | India News

NEW DELHI: The Indian government will continue to buy oil from wherever it has to and has a moral duty to provide energy to its citizens, Union minister of petroleum and natural gas Hardeep Singh Puri said on Friday, asserting that no country has told India to stop buying oil from Russia.
“India will buy oil from wherever it has to for the simple reason that this kind of a discussion cannot be taken to the consuming population of India,” Puri told a group of Indian reporters in Washington DC, where he held meetings with officials from Biden administration.
The Russia-Ukraine war has had a far-reaching impact on the global energy system, disrupting supply and demand patterns and fracturing long-standing trading relationships.
It has pushed up energy prices for many consumers and businesses around the world, hurting households, industries and entire economies of several nations.
Responding to a question, he said India has not been told by anyone to stop buying oil from Russia.
“If you are clear about your policy, which means you believe in energy security and energy affordability, you will buy from wherever you have to purchase energy from sources,” Puri said after his bilateral meeting with US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.
The Western countries are gradually bringing down their energy purchases from Russia following its attack on Ukraine.
India’s crude oil imports from Russia have jumped over 50 times since April and now it makes up for 10 per cent of all crude bought from overseas. Russian oil made up for just 0.2 per cent of all oil imported by India prior to the Ukraine war.
‘US-India commitment to accelerate energy transition’
Puri during the press conference also highlighted the US and India’s commitment to accelerating a just and sustainable energy transition at the ministerial dialogue on India-US strategic clean energy.
The US is holding “deep talks” with India over the latter’s reliance on Russian arms and oil, according to media reports citing a state department official. The official claimed that Indian representatives are starting to look at other markets to meet their demands as they try to become less dependent on Moscow for oil purchases.
The union minister during his stay in Washington also met up with senior officials of the World Bank, Presidential envoy for energy and infrastructure Amos Hochstein and senior representatives of the White House. Puri is scheduled to meet energy business leaders in Houston, where he is reaching on Saturday.
OPEC‘s sovereign right to decide on oil production’
Puri also responded to a question about deciding India’s oil production capacities through the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries Plus (OPEC+).
He said that India will navigate through the OPEC+ decision to cut oil production from November by a steeper than expected two million barrels per day (bpd).
“How will this impact India? We are very confident of being able to navigate through the situation,” Puri said while speaking to reporters.
Puri highlighted India is one of the largest oil importer and the demand is expected to rise driven by an increase in India’s per capita consumption of energy which currently stands at one-third of the global average.
Puri further stressed that the fuel demand is expected to keep rising as the country’s economy grows.
“I say this again with the view of confidence and most analysts feel that the 25 per cent of the global increase in demand will come from India in the coming decade, so, I see this 5 million barrels a day consumption going up to six and seven.. “Puri added.
“In our interaction with the oil price producers in the grouping that you call OPEC, based on what we were told last year that this was a temporary adjustment and what you would see is that by February the amount of crude which is released into the market would be sufficient to cater to the increasing demand,” Puri said.
The 13-nation OPEC group, plus 10 allies led by Moscow, agreed at a meeting in Vienna to slash output. OPEC+ agreed to steep oil production cuts on Wednesday.
India’s import from the US is shooting up and currently buying USD20 billion worth of energy from the United States. There are discussions on buying more from the United States, he said.
While work on green energy would continue, traditional exploration, and production of oil and gas would continue as well, he noted.
(With inputs from agencies)

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