Good news in offing for India? OPEC secy-general says will look into crude oil concern in next meet

OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo Thursday said that India sent a complaint letter to him recently, expressing discomfort over the current market situations. Barkindo assured that he would look into the concerns and discuss the issues in the upcoming meeting on October 17 in Delhi. It may be noted that India, which meets about 80% of its oil needs through imports, has strong ties with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), as top eight suppliers of crude oil to India are OPEC Member countries.

“Some of our power consumers seem uncomfortable,” Barkindo told reporters during a press briefing on the sidelines of the Oil and Money conference in London when asked about the elevated crude oil prices. In the last financial year 2018, India, which is the world’s third-largest oil consumer, consumed 204.9 million tonnes of 4 million barrels of oil per day.

In the last financial year, OPEC accounted for nearly 83% of India’s total crude oil imports, 74% of LNG imports and 98% of our LPG imports.

Meanwhile, on the question about space output capacity, Barkindo said that oil producers are very concerned, as the energy-industry investment has gone down, while the crude prices are skyrocketing on fears of a decline in Iranian supply. Iran is OPEC’s third-largest oil producer.

Crude oil prices have surged this year on the talks of US sanctions that are expected to strain supplies of Iranian oil by reducing shipments. Last week, Brent crude oil touched $86.74 per barrel, the highest since 2014. However, he also added that there are several other non-fundamental factors that are influencing the oil market and are beyond of oil producers’ control. Saudi Arabia, which is the leader of the block, is the only oil producer with significant spare output capacity on hand to supply the market if needed.

India’s petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan said earlier this week that India – a major importer of Iranian oil – will continue importing oil from Iran, despite the US government’s November 4 deadline. OPEC accounts for about 40% of global production.

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