India concerned but not worried about Red Sea crisis: Petroleum minister

Puri mentioned that there are several non-state actors who are working on it, and we need to convince ourselves that they are acting on their own.
Hardeep Singh Puri.
Hardeep Singh Puri.

NEW DELHI: India is concerned but not worried about the ongoing crisis in the Red Sea, said petroleum minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday.

The minister, while speaking at the curtain-raising event of India Energy Week, said the government is in constant discussion with the concerned people about the issue. Puri mentioned that there are several non-state actors who are working on it, and we need to convince ourselves that they are acting on their own.

“But I’m convinced that everybody now wants to bring the situation under relative calm,” said the minister…. Does it affect the trade of any country, including India? Obviously, it affects me. But am I worried about that effect? No, I’m not. I think 30% of our imports and about 50% of our exports go through the other route.”

“What will happen is that if the tension continues, you will find other routes, so freight charges will go up, etc. But I’m confident that this situation has not reached a point where we start worrying about it. Just now we are concerned, we are talking to the concerned people,” said the minister.

The US and the UK airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen in response to attacks on tankers in the Red Sea by the Iran-backed group have raised concerns that an escalation of the conflict could further disrupt the flow of oil. While oil and LNG production have not been impacted, a rising number of ship owners are diverting cargoes away from the Red Sea. The minister said the issue will be discussed in the upcoming India Energy Week 2024.

“We will have to navigate through. Will there be discussions on the sidelines (India Energy Week 24)? Yes, certainly there will be discussion on it. I shouldn’t say this, but I will. I’m very confident that none of the major state actors wants an escalation of this. There are some non-state actors. I think we need to convince ourselves that they are acting on their own, etc.,” said the minister.

Meanwhile, on the second edition of India Energy Week, Puri said the prime minister will be having a roundtable with the top oil and gas CEOs.

The issues that will be covered are global south cooperation, carbon capture, and utilization. The second edition will have energy ministers from 17 countries, including Guyana, Nigeria, and Iraq, with over 35,000 attendees and over 900 exhibitors.

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