Washington: Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas. Hardeep Singh Puri has said that India will buy crude oil from whichever country it wanted and that New Delhi faces no pressure from Washington to cut its energy buys 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 reporters in Washington.
Puri who was in Washington DC on Thursday held a wide range of meetings with his US counterpart Jennifer Granholm and other top officials of the Biden Administration.
“Have I been told by anyone to stop buying Russian oil? The answer is a categorical No,” Puri asserted when asked if India has been under pressure to reduce energy dependence on Russia.
Since the start of the Ukraine conflict. India has sought to carve a middle path between Moscow and its Western critics and so far largely resisted Western pressure to cut its economic ties with the Kremlin.
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.
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 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.
He said that India will navigate through the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries Plus (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 in Washington.
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.. the economy is growing at 7 per cent and energy is a critical driver of that economic growth,” Puri added.
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.
Earlier, Indian economist Dr Charan Singh called India ‘fortunate’ enough as the country is not going to be badly impacted by these policies as it is not on the verge of recession.
The economist also stressed the fact that India may get impacted because of the overall price but can insulate itself as far as the bigger picture is concerned. -ANI
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