Petroleum minister discusses ongoing market volatility with Opec secretary-general

  • The recent increase in international crude oil prices is a matter of concern for India, which imports about 85% of its energy requirements

Rituraj Baruah
First Published19 Apr 2024
Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s Union minister for petroleum and natural gas.
Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s Union minister for petroleum and natural gas.(Reuters)

New Delhi: Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s Union minister for petroleum and natural gas, on Friday discussed with Haitham Al-Ghais, the secretary-general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), the ongoing volatility in the energy market due to the Iran-Israel conflict.

In a telephone conversation lasting about 30 minutes, Puri emphasized the importance of balancing market stability, affordability and pragmatism, according to an official statement.

The discussion covered recent trends and volatility in the global oil markets, and their implications for international energy stability.

“As one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, India is committed to supporting efforts to achieve balance in global energy markets,” the statement from the ministry of petroleum and natural gas quoted Puri as saying.

Also read | Oil rises 16% YTD on Middle-East crisis: How will the fresh spike impact India and world markets—Explained

Noting that India is the second largest export destination for Opec, the statement said that during FY23, India imported crude oil, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), LNG (liquefied natural gas) and petroleum products from Opec countries amounting to around $120 billion.

The conversation came on a day that crude prices surged around 3% to breach the $90-per-barrel mark after reports of explosions in Iran raised concerns of retaliatory action by Israel. June-contract Brent on the Intercontinental Exchange surged over 3% in early trade on Friday to hit $90.66 per barrel.

Prices eased later in day, with the June contract of Brent at $87.63 a barrel at 9pm India time, 0.60% up on its previous close.

Concerns of an escalation of the Iran-Israel conflict have kept traders on their toes. Moody’s Analytics earlier this week projected oil prices to reach $95 per barrel. In a note, it said that in case of a retaliation to Iran’s missile and drone attacks by Israel and further escalation, crude prices may even touch $100 per barrel.

The recent increase in international crude oil prices is a matter of concern for India, which imports about 85% of its energy requirements.

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