Dharmendra Pradhan urges OPEC to phase out production cuts sooner, maintain crude prices at reasonable level


New Delhi [India], June 24 (ANI): In a high-level consultation meeting on Thursday, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan urged the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to phase out production cuts sooner and maintain crude prices at a reasonable level, much lower than current USD 75 per barrel.

The minister held a meeting with OPEC Secretary General H.E Dr Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo in Delhi which lasted over an hour. He emphasised that high crude prices are adding significant inflationary pressure on India.
It was a very crucial meeting before much-awaited meeting of OPEC which is scheduled on July 1.

Petroleum Secretary Tarun Bajaj and Chief of Oil Marketing Companies also attended the meeting.

According to Petroleum Ministry, the minister discussed a range of issues relating to the global oil markets and economic growth and expressed serious concern about the rising crude prices that are affecting the prospect of smart recovery of economies.

Pradhan highlighted the impact of sharp surge in crude prices on Indian consumers and urged OPEC to phase out production cuts sooner. He also impressed that it will be in the collective interest of producing and consuming countries to maintain crude price band in reasonable level, certainly much lower than current USD 75 per barrel, to allow consumption-led recovery of fragile global economy.

The minister said that OPEC countries as a group are the largest source of hydrocarbons for India. OPEC companies have been honoring the long term contract despite the supply volatility since April last year. During the last financial year 2021, India imported 71 per cent crude oil, 58 per cent LPG, 32 per cent LNG and 45 per cent petroleum products requirement from OPEC countries.

During the meeting, Pradhan expressed his deep appreciation for support extended by OPEC countries especially Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, in supplying liquid medical oxygen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He expressed his concern for the rising trend in global crude oil prices during the past few months.

He said, “Both the government and Indian citizen have a lot of anxious moments in their beliefs, OPEC have a major role in setting oil price and availability and current high oil price during the economic development of many countries and treated already fragile world economy growth due to COVID pandemic, in order to support recovery of global economy and to help arrest inflation in developing nations OPEC may consider phasing out production cuts.”

The Minister also urged for the need for India centric chapter in OPEC flagship publication world oil outlook for which a dialogue and working is going on between Indian and OPEC officials. (ANI)
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