No moral conflict in importing Russian oil, have responsibility towards consumers: Puri

  • The minister said that in FY22 India had imported 0.2% of its total oil imports from Russia and only now Russia is among the top sources of oil for the country

Livemint
First Published1 Nov 2022, 09:08 PM IST
Union minister for petroleum and natural gas Hardeep Singh Puri
Union minister for petroleum and natural gas Hardeep Singh Puri (HT )

Union minister for petroleum and natural gas Hardeep Singh Puri has said that there is no moral conflict for India in importing crude oil from Russia.

In an interview to CNN, the minister noted that in FY22 India had imported 0.2% of its total oil imports from Russia and only now Russia is among the top sources of oil for the country.

“In FY22, the purchases of Russian oil was 0.2%. We still buy only in a quarter of what Europe buys in one afternoon. Russia is not the largest supplier of oil to India. Russia was only 0.2%, now its one of the top four or five suppliers and in fact the largest supplier last month was Iraq. We owe a moral duty to our consumers. We have a 1.34 billion population and we have to ensure that they are supplied with energy, whether with energy, whether its petrol, diesel. The government reduced its revenue in order to ensure that prices at the petrol bunks did not go up,” he said.

On being asked if India faces a moral conflict due to import from Russia amid the latter’s conflict with Ukraine, the minister said: “Absolutely none. There is not moral conflict. We dont buy from X or Y. We buy whatever is available. Government does not buy, its the oil companies which do the buying.”

Emphasising that India would look to source crude oil from diverse sources, he said that India will buy from Guyana and Canada as well. Puri also mentioned that in the last financial year India imported $20 million worth of crude oil from the US, which is almost half of the purchases from OPEC.

On the proposal of European Union and G7 to impose a price cap on Russian energy supplies, Puri noted as and when the proposal is firmed up India will examine it and will “respond according to its supreme national interest”.

Noting that India has several backup plans in terms of energy sources, he said that India has healthy discussions with the west, the US, the European countries.

The energy market has been highly volatile post Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February this year, with oil and gas prices soaring to multi-year highs.

On Monday, the petroleum minister met the Secretary General of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Haitham al-Ghais among other dignitaries in Abu Dhabi .

Taking to Twitter, the minister had said: “Had a productive meeting with the new OPEC Secretary General HE Haitham al-Ghais in Abu Dhabi today. India consumes 14% of OPEC hydrocarbon production totaling $48 bn last year. Invited him to visit India for #IndiaEnergyWeek & OPEC India dialogue in February 2023.“

Attending a plenary session at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC 2022) he said that during the plenary session at the conference he said that high energy prices are leading intended and unintended consequences such global recession and accelerated energy transition.

 “Higher energy prices are leading to intended & unintended consequences- while at one end it is leading to a global recession, it is also hastening India’s energy transition across biofuels, green hydrogen & electric vehicles,“ he said.

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First Published:1 Nov 2022, 09:08 PM IST
HomeIndustryEnergyNo moral conflict in importing Russian oil, have responsibility towards consumers: Puri

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