Updated: March 19, 2021 12:00:47 am
State-owned oil marketing companies are set to cut crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia in response to the country taking a “hard stance” on maintaining lower levels of crude oil production amid rising prices, according to sources aware of developments.
Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman had said India should use cheap crude stored in strategic reserves in response to calls by Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan that oil-producing countries reverse production cuts put in place during the peak of the pandemic.
“We want to diversify our sources of crude and particularly now given the hard stance that Saudi Arabia has taken (on production cuts),” said a source, adding the shift would be significant but OMCs would continue to import crude from it, given the proximity of the nation and India’s large oil requirements. The source noted that the US has already overtaken Saudi Arabia as the second-largest supplier of crude to India behind Iraq.
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