NEW DELHI: India on Thursday put the onus of long-term prosperity of the world oil market on OPEC and called upon the grouping of exporting countries to maintain market stability for the benefit of consumers, producers and global economy.
At the 6th meeting of the Indian-OPEC Energy Dialogue in Vienna, oil minister Hardeep Singh Puri spoke up for the buyers, leveraging India’s position as the world’s third-largest energy consumer, oil importer and fourth-largest refiner to point out that “close ties between India and OPEC are not only essential but also natural.”
“As India remains on a trajectory of stable and robust economic growth, fostering deeper collaboration for the mutual benefit of both parties has the potential to contribute significantly to the long-term prosperity and stability of the global oil markets,” a joint statement quoted him as saying at the meeting.
According to the OPEC World Oil Outlook 2023, India would be the fastest growing major developing economy, averaging long-term growth of 6.1% between 2022-2045 and will account for over 28% of incremental global energy demand during the same period.
In the context of extended production cuts by the OPEC-Plus — which includes Russia — being blamed for oil market volatility and the grouping’s bullish stance on demand growth, Puri’s remarks can be interpreted as a warning bell on loss of market — especially amid shifting market dynamics.
Russia, for example, has emerged as India’s top oil supplier due to discounts it offers, replacing shipments from OPEC. Similarly, the US has also emerged as a major source of oil. For India, high oil prices have resulted in the government subsidising fuel and state-run oil companies absorbing part of the impact to ease inflationary pressure on consumers.
The joint statement noted OPEC secretary-general Haitian Al Ghai praising India’s G20 presidency as well as the Chandrayan (moon) mission and acknowledging New Delhi’s “leadership role in addressing global issues of great importance.”
“India’s heading of the G20 was impressive, with India’s able leadership steering this year’s G20 discussions to a successful outcome, including on key energy issues,” the statement quoted Ghais as saying.
According to the statement, the discussions laid “specific emphasis on ensuring availability, affordability and sustainability, which are necessary in ensuring the stability of energy markets. The two sides discussed the short-, medium- and long-term outlooks for the industry and recognized the important role of India in global economic growth and energy demand.”
Source: The Times of India