Union cabinet minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday held a telephone conversation with Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the industry and advanced technology minister of UAE
NEW DELHI :
India has reached out to UAE as part of its energy security efforts, with the newly appointed Union cabinet minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday holding a telephone conversation with Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the oil rich nation’s industry and advanced technology minister.
Al Jaber is also the managing director and chief executive of state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), one of the only two firms to commit to India’s crude oil reserve programme till date.
This comes against the backdrop of reports of the UAE reaching a compromise with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) grouping on increasing the volume of oil it can pump, as part of a larger compact within the Opec plus grouping, comprising 23 countries, including Russia and allies. This followed after there was no agreement on oil production with differences between Saudi Arabia and UAE.
“Had a warm courtesy call with HE Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and MD & Group CEO of @AdnocGroup. Discussed ways and means to invigorate the vibrant bilateral strategic energy partnership between India and UAE," Puri said in a tweet on Wednesday.
With three million barrels per day of crude oil production, Adnoc is the world’s 12th-largest producer. The UAE is a member of the Opec, which accounts for a major part of India’s total crude oil imports and 40% of global production.
“Conveyed my desire to work closely with UAE and other friendly countries to bring a sense of calm, predictability and realism among other suppliers in the energy market to make it more affordable for consumers," Puri said in another tweet.
This assumes importance, given that diesel and petrol prices have already breached the ₹100 mark in several parts of India. India has been flagging its concerns over the increasing global crude oil prices and requesting phasing out production cuts to Opec.
“We agreed to take the bilateral energy engagement to greater heights and also to diversify into new areas in the context of fast evolving global energy transition," Puri said in another tweet.
India is the world’s third-largest oil importer and the fourth-largest buyer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and has been building on its relationship with the West Asian nation. Adnoc earlier awarded the exploration rights for the Abu Dhabi Onshore Block 1 to an Indian consortium of state-run Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Indian Oil Corp Ltd (IOC).
Diversifying India’s energy basket with crude oil supplies from non-Opec sources is part of India’s energy security efforts. India is particularly vulnerable as any increase in global prices can affect its import bill, stoke inflation and widen trade deficit. Following the covid outbreak, crude prices for Indian basket of crude had plunged to $19.90 in April last year during the first wave before recovering to 71.98 a barrel in June, data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell showed.
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