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India will remain engine of world’s energy demand growth: Pradhan to G20 leaders

India being world’s third-largest oil consumer is planning to spend $ 670 million to buy oil at around the $30 a barrel for its strategic reserves purchased from Saudi Arabia and UAE.

SNS | New Delhi |

Amid high volatility in international markets, Indian oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan has called for a win situation formulas for a stable oil market that provides a reasonable price for producers and affordable rate for consumers.

During the G-20 oil ministers’ virtual conference to stabilise oil markets, Pradhan asserted that India will remain the engine of world energy demand growth.

“In terms of the ongoing energy market fluctuations, Minister stated that India has always advocated for a stable oil market, which is reasonable for producers and affordable for consumers,” an official statement said.

The minister also underscored government’s efforts to fill in strategic reserves using a low oil price regime.

Indian currently has 5.33 million tonnes of crude oil filled in its strategic oil reserves based in Vishakhapatnam, Mangaluru and Padur. This reserve could last for nine days. As per reports, India being world’s third-largest oil consumer is planning to spend $ 670 million to buy oil at around the $30 a barrel for its strategic reserves purchased from Saudi Arabia and UAE.

During the meeting, Pradhan emphasized that India was and will continue to be the global energy demand centre. The minister, however, urged that oil prices should be targeted to affordable levels to allow for a consumption-led demand recovery.

The meeting came amid OPEC, Russia and nine other allies holding marathon talks to finalise a deal to cut an unprecedented 10 million barrels a day of global output in a bid to resuscitate prices plummeted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The extraordinary meeting of energy ministers of G20 nations was focused to have a stable market and also to address energy issues, showing the depth of concern about the oil crash.

It came amid OPEC, Russia and nine other allies holding marathon talks to finalise a deal to cut an unprecedented 10 million barrels a day of global output in a bid to resuscitate prices plummeted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The alliance, known as OPEC+, is also hoping to convince other key oil producers, including the US to participate in the deal.

Global oil demand has fallen by more than a quarter as countries around the world instituted lockdowns that grounded flights, shut factories and took most vehicles off the road, in an effort to combat coronavirus.

This has led to a crash in prices that threatens to cripple the global industry. Brent crude hit an 18-year low of $20 late last month, before recovering to above $30 on hopes producers would reach a deal.

US President Donald Trump has been pressing Saudi Arabia and Russia to pull back from a price war that began last month after they fell out over how to respond to the drop in demand.

Saudi Arabia and Russia, who had till then collaborated through the OPEC+ group, want other countries including the US — the world’s top oil producer — to also participate in cuts.

The G20 group includes large oil producers such as the US, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Brazil as also large consumers such as China, India, Japan, and South Korea who rely on imports and see little incentive in raising prices as recession looms.

Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest producer and de facto leader, holds the G20’s rotating presidency for this year.