NEW DELHI: Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Tuesday asked the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to not go ahead with deeper production cuts, reiterating India’s pitch for reasonable and stable pricing of oil in a meeting with the oil cartel’s Secretary-General, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo.
“We hope that in the current geopolitical situation, OPEC does not exercise greater production cuts. We sincerely believe that crude prices should be left to market forces of demand and supply,” Pradhan told reporters after the meeting, adding that India had been a consistent advocate of maintaining an optimal balance for responsible pricing, addressing the interests of both the producer and consumer.
The oil cartel, he said, will meet in December to decide on such matters.
Pradhan also pitched for better commercial terms for crude oil imports, including a reduction in official selling prices, an extension in credit period from the existing 30 days to 90 days from bill of lading, freight discounts and open credit due to the creditworthiness of Indian state-run refineries.
Opec nations led by Iraq and Saudi Arabia supply more than 80 per cent of India’s oil needs, and any cut in output is likely to push up prices.
Pradhan noted that some Opec members such as Abu Dhabi had been very supportive of making up any production shortfall in the aftermath of attacks on Saudi oil facilities.