India Pushes To Diversify Oil Imports

India Pushes To Diversify Oil Imports

India is the world’s third-largest importer of crude oil, with imports covering 85 percent of its oil needs. Iraq and Saudi Arabia are the main origins of Indian oil imports, with imports from OPEC member countries for 2019-2010 amounting to $92.8 billion.

That’s a significant number, and the Indian government is desperate to find other sources to lower their energy bill. One of the latest moves was to announce a resumption in imports from Iran and Venezuela. Imports from these two OPEC members came to an end in 2017 after President Trump imposed sanctions on Iran and Venezuela. That sanction climate has softened recently, with President-elect Biden hinting at a softening and resumption of trade with these oil-rich countries.

Before the Trump administration sanctions and up to 2019, India was second only to China in Iran imports. Indian imports from Venezuela ended in June 2020, before which Venezuela had been India’s fourth-biggest importer.

Oil consumption in India is expected to continue on a growth path for the next two decades, with energy consumption projected to increase by almost 3 percent per year up to the year 2040. If these figures pan out, India’s oil consumption will account for 11 percent of global consumption for the same period.

Indian Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan was keen to see a resumption in imports from Iran and Venezuela, diversifying India’s oil imports. The minister added:

“As a buyer, I would like to have more buying places. I should have more destinations to go to for purchasing oil.”

India’s Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan

President-elect Biden has repeatedly suggested a move to renew diplomacy with Iran. One of his Presidential campaign’s central tenets was to “offer Tehran a credible path back to diplomacy”.

The slump in India’s oil consumption following the coronavirus pandemic restrictions seems to have ended. As Mr. Pradhan commented in November:

“India’s energy sector has shown remarkable resilience, and our energy demand has almost recovered back to the pre-Covid levels, particularly for petroleum products, due to the rejuvenation of economic activities.”

India’s Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan

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