Avoiding any direct reference to US President Donald Trump’s call to all nations to stop crude oil imports from Iran, petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Thursday that India has kept all options open to secure crude from any country of its choice at competitive rates and “on own terms.”
“In the last two years, India’s position has become so strong that no producing country can ignore our requirement and expectations. My interest is paramount to me and I will take crude from whoever I want, depending on my needs and geopolitical situation. We will get crude from wherever we want” Pradhan said.
“We are a very stable market, a mature democracy and have a visionary leadership. We will go by our interests,” he added.
Pradhan said India is also working towards restrategising its energy mix by reducing dependency on imports and development of new models to increase production from domestic hydrocarbon fields.
Iran is India’s third-largest supplier of crude oil behind Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Iran supplied 18.4 million tonne of crude oil in the first 10 months during April 2017 and January 2018.
Earlier during 2010-13, India resisted US sanctions on trade with Iran to preserve its longstanding relation by trading and settling its transactions in Rupee. However, RBI had ceased using Tehran-based regional body, the Asian Clearing Union to handle transactions with Iran. —FE