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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Russia steps in to help India fill gap in oil supply

The meeting comes as India’s state-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) strive to secure a long-term deal for procuring crude from Russia. It gains significance as it follows Saturday’s drone attacks in Saudi Arabia, which is the second-largest crude supplier to India.

india Updated: Sep 18, 2019 06:47 IST
Utpal Bhaskar
Utpal Bhaskar
Hindusta Times, New Delhi
Union Minister for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel, Dharmendra Pradhan and Russia’s oil company Rosneft chief Igor Sechin pose for a photograph during a meeting, in New Delhi, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019.
Union Minister for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel, Dharmendra Pradhan and Russia’s oil company Rosneft chief Igor Sechin pose for a photograph during a meeting, in New Delhi, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019.(PTI Photo)
         

Russia’s largest oil company Rosneft PJSC will assist India with its energy security efforts against the backdrop of the drone attacks on Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Saudi Aramco, that have caused the biggest-ever disruption in global crude oil supplies, Igor Sechin, chairman of Rosneft, conveyed during his meeting with India’s oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday in New Delhi.

The meeting comes as India’s state-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) strive to secure a long-term deal for procuring Russia. It gains significance as it follows Saturday’s drone attacks in Saudi Arabia, which is the second-largest crude supplier to India.

India is highly susceptible to sharp oil price fluctuations as it imports 80% of its crude oil and 18% of its natural gas.

“This incident is huge,” Pradhan told reporters about the drone attacks. “However, yesterday, we lifted oil, and today also, we lifted oil (from Saudi Aramco),” he said.

However, the situation appears grim with S&P Global Platts stating that about three million barrels per day (mbpd) of Saudi Arabian crude supply will be affected for at least a month.

“The developments in energy markets, including global crude oil supplies, in the 1ight of the recent attacks on Saudi Aramco’s facilities, was also discussed. In this context, the special focus was on increase of oil supplies from Russian to Indian refineries,” the oil ministry said.

India has been urging its long-time ally Russia to consider the interest of energy consuming nations during its engagement with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) at a time when the Opec+ arrangement including Russia has extended its compact for production cuts.

“CEO Rosneft indicated their readiness to intensify their cooperation aimed at strengthening energy security in India and supplying high-quality feedstock and crude oil to India,” it said.

Meanwhile, the Indian government has had conversations with the Trump administration on energy imports from sanction- hit Iran, external affairs minister S. Jaishankar said on Tuesday and added that it was not a “static” issue.

India was among Iran’s top oil consumers with imports of 23.5 million tonnes in 2018-19. However, with the US government’s conditional waiver for Iranian oil imports to eight nations, including China and India, expiring on 2 May, India stopped imports from Iran.

Jaishankar said India wants predictable and affordable supply of energy. “We are in dialogue with all suppliers including Iran,” he said.

PTI contributed to this story.

First Published: Sep 18, 2019 06:32 IST

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