India aims to drive hard oil bargains at energy forum

Leveraging its strength as the world’s third-biggest crude importer, India will be aiming at driving harder bargains with global oil producers including Saudi Arabia during the International Energy Forum that it is co-hosting with China and South Korea this week.

The bilateral meetings at this conference of energy ministers are going to be power packed, reports Reuters.

High on agenda are talks with Saudi Arabia and Nigeria for crude supplies.

It is a well known that India is gaining huge attention over dominant supplies. Currently, key producers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), threatened by the rising output from new and non-OPEC countries, are trying to secure a foothold in India where refining capacity is set to rise to 8 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2030 from 5 million bpd.

Such demands are reflecting India’s new position as a driver of global energy growth and it is now in a position to demand for incentives from producers.

For example, Iran has offered to increase a discount on freight prices to Indian state-owned refiners to double its sales to the companies, which control about one-third of the country’s refining capacity.

Saudi Aramco raised the credit limit for some Indian refiners last year so that they could lift more crude without providing explicit financial guarantees.

India’s footprint in global energy markets will increase “materially” from 2018 to 2040, making it the largest growth market for global energy, BP Plc said in its energy outlook report in February.

India last year began buying oil from the United States to cut its dependence on the Middle East, whose share of overall imports fell to 64.1 percent in the fiscal year of 2016/17 from about 80 percent in the 2007/08 fiscal year, government data showed.

Uttara is a correspondent with Indoasiancommodities. You can write to her on uttara.malhotra@indoasiancommodities.in.

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