Won’t accept ‘Asian premium’, India tells OPEC
Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan told OPEC leaders in Vienna that India should get an “Asian dividend” instead and said it is the only big economy where the demand for crude oil continues to rise each year.world Updated: May 22, 2017 21:55 IST
Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday told OPEC leaders in Vienna that India will no longer accept the “Asian premium” on oil imports since New Delhi has always honoured its commitments and made timely payments.
Pradhan pointed out that “for a long time OPEC subsidised western buyers at the cost of Asian buyers”, and said India is the only big economy where the demand for crude oil continues to rise each year.
Given the Asian market’s importance for OPEC, particularly the fast growing Indian market which stood by the grouping as a reliable and continued customer, Pradhan demanded an “Asian dividend rather than paying an Asian premium”, official sources in London said.
Pradhan met OPEC secretary general Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo and highlighted the importance of India-OPEC engagement. He also discussed on the effects of the production cut of 1.8 mbpd by OPEC and non-OPEC countries on the global oil market volatility.
About 86% if India’s import of crude oil, 70% of natural gas and 95% of LPG are from OPEC countries. Pradhan pointed out that in today’s oversupplied market, it is important for producers to understand the perspective of consumers and demand centres, and the changes that have taken place in these centres.
The sources said Pradhan wanted OPEC to work towards “responsible pricing”, which will allow India to provide energy to people who have been deprived of energy so far.
Pradhan told OPEC officials India’s energy mix is undergoing major changes, with renewable sources and the pricing of solar energy lowering to 4 cents a unit. He said he saw the oil Industry at a “delicate crossroad” and higher crude prices would, according to him, give a further push to renewables.