As violence escalates in Iraq, the government on Thursday said fuel supplies will not be impacted by the conflict in the nation’s second largest crude oil supplier.
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan reviewed availability of petroleum products in the country in light of the week-long conflict that has threatened to push Iraq into civil war.
“While India imported about 13 per cent of its crude oil requirements from Iraq last year, in the current fiscal, public sector oil companies had planned to import 19.4 million tonnes (about 20 per cent of their requirement) of crude oil from Iraq,” an official statement said.
Against 18.7 million tonnes of crude oil imports planned by Indian Oil Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Corp in 2014, 50 per cent of the contracted quantity has already been lifted.
Crude supplies to India from Iraq come from the Basra oilfields which are situated well away from the conflict zone in the north-eastern part of Iraq
and loading of ships continues normally, it said.
Pradhan asked oil firms to prepare a contingency plan for the short and medium term by tying up supplies from other sources in case oil from Iraq is disrupted.
In the meeting with senior ministry officials and oil firms, it was “confirmed that there is no possibility of supply disruption at present and adequate supply of petroleum products throughout the country would be maintained,” the statement added.
India bought 25.1 million tonnes of crude oil from Iraq in 2013-14 fiscal. These imports included those by PSU and private refiners like Reliance Industries. An equal amount is planned to be imported in current year.
Sources said Ashish Khetan will be the vice-chairman of the commission.
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