He said that Indian Oil Corporation, the country's top refiner, has renewed its oil import contract with Russia. According to sources, India hopes to resume Iranian oil imports this year.
OPEC + has asked India's state refiners to gradually cut down on the Middle East to accelerate diversification of oil imports after it decided to continue production cuts in April last week.
India, which is the world's third largest oil importer and consumer, imports more than 60% of its total crude needs, coming from Middle Eastern countries, which are generally cheaper than those in the West.
Most producers of OPEC +, led by Saudi Arabia, the world's top exporter, decided to extend most of the production restrictions in April last week.
OPEC + should fulfill the promise of price stability: Dharmendra Pradhan
India has worked hard due to rising oil prices, urging producers to ease output cuts and help with global economic recovery. In response, the Saudi energy Minister asked India to dive into strategic reserves filled with cheap oil purchased last year.
He said, ‘We have asked companies to aggressively diversify. We cannot be held hostage to the arbitrary decisions of producers in the Middle East. When they wanted to stabilize the market, we stood by them.
The source said that India did not cancel any shipments of crude oil from the Middle East in 2020, as the demand for oil fell due to COVID-19. OPEC's share in India's oil imports already declined during April 2020 to January 2021, a historic decline in the first ten months of this financial year.
‘OPEC + hit recovery steps'
“The initial cost may be high, but the strategy will pay off in the long term,” the source said.
The two oil refiners confirmed that the government has asked them to expedite efforts to diversify their raw import sources.
Sources said one of the plans is to import oil from the new producer Guyana. He said that the country's top refiner Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has also renewed its oil import contract with Russia. India hopes to resume Iranian oil imports this year.
India's Oil Ministry and IOC did not respond to requests Reuters For comment. Iraq and Saudi Arabia are two of India's largest oil suppliers. This year, Iraq has cut annual supplies, while Kuwait has reduced the duration of contracts with Indian buyers to nine months.
Following OPEC's decision last week, crude oil prices rose to $ 71 per barrel, although prices dropped to less than 1027 GMT at $ 6927 per barrel. Saudi has also increased the April selling price of its oil for Asia.
“One has to start. Nobody had imagined that American oil would account for a significant stake in our crude basket. We are trying for short-term contracts with new countries and vendors.
OPEC ignored India's call; Saudi asked New Delhi to use cheap oil bought last year
“The world was together during an epidemic, but now it seems that some producers are working for their economies,” the first source said.