Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan recently held a meeting with Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Secretary General Sanusi Mohammad Barkindo in here and discussed the current scenario of oil and gas industry of the world and exchanged notes on the recent developments.
Barkindo is in India to attend the first CERAWEEK India Energy Forum. The two had last met in Vienna in May 2017 for the 2nd India-OPEC Institutional Dialogue.
India's engagement with the OPEC is important as India sources about 86 percent of crude oil, 75 percent of natural gas, 95 percent of LPG from the OPEC member countries.
During the meeting yesterday, Pradhan highlighted that in today's oversupplied market, it was important for producers to understand the perspective of consuming countries and the changes that have taken place in these demand centers. He emphasised the need for a purposeful and improved dialogue among producer and consumer countries.
Pradhan reiterated that the OPEC should work towards "responsible pricing," which is important for India for socio-economic and developmental reasons. He also emphasised on India's earlier view of 'Asian Dividend rather than charging Asian Premium' on the crude supplied to India and said that countries like India should actually be the "preferred destination." He later suggested that the OPEC, at its ministerial meetings, gives wider consideration to India's requests.
Pradhan further noted that India is putting a lot of emphasis on diversifying its crude oil supply sources and tapping new supply sources. He highlighted the arrival of two shipments of crude oil cargo of 1.6 million barrels from the U.S.
The three Indian public sector refineries have already placed a cumulative order 7.85 million barrel from the U.S. In addition, a private sector refiner has also placed an order of 2 million barrel from the U.S.
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas was accompanied by senior officials and also CEOs of seven public and private sector refineries who together operate all 23 refineries in India processing over 235 MMT of crude annually.
Pradhan later extended an invitation to secretary general OPEC to attend the 16th Ministerial Meeting of International Energy Forum which on scheduled to take place in India on April 2018. While, secretary general accepted the invite.