India to urge Saudi Arabia, US to lower crude prices in key meetings this month

India, the world’s third biggest oil consumer, will press Saudi Arabia and the United States to lower prices in its effort to provide relief to consumers, the oil minister said.

Dharmendra Pradhan said India felt crude prices, which have been rising in recent weeks, should be reduced by the world’s two biggest producers

Both Saudi Oil Minister Khalid A Al-Falih as well as US Energy Secretary Rick Perry will be in India this month.

Pradhan, worried over rising domestic pump prices, said India would make a strong case for a reduction from current levels of around $65/barrel after crossing the $70/barrel mark in January.

The government is under pressure to reduce the excise duties on petrol and diesel, through which it mopped massive amounts for its kitty, ahead of key state elections. Nation elections are due next year.

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