Published on 28th October 2021
India's private oil refiners are likely to collaborate with state-run counterparts to negotiate better oil import terms, according to oil minister Hardeep Singh Puri, as the country seeks to reduce its import bill.
India is launching a body that will bring together state and commercial refiners to seek better oil import arrangements.
Puri said in a news conference at the India Energy Forum industry event that the outcome of the meeting between private and state-run (refiners on a joint oil procurement plan) was "The outcome of the meeting between private and state-run (refiners on a joint oil procurement plan) was very encouraging,"
The proposal has "enthused" private enterprises, he said.
India is the world's third-largest oil importer and user, importing over 85% of its crude and purchasing the majority of it from Middle Eastern sources.
About 40% of India's 5 million barrel per day (bpd) refining capacity is controlled by private companies such as Reliance Industries, which operates the world's largest refining complex, and Nayara Energy, which is partly owned by Russian oil company Rosneft.
With local gasoline and gasoil prices reaching new highs in the midst of India's greatest power crisis in years, the country needs to redouble its efforts to buy wisely.
Last month, India's trade imbalance reached a new high of USD 22.6 billion, the largest in at least 14 years, owing to rising import costs.
India has encouraged the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, collectively known as OPEC+, to increase supply in order to lower world oil prices on several occasions.
"Cost of energy should not be allowed to outstrip paying capacity of consumers and this imperative needs to be configured by the consuming countries in planning their production profile for the future," Puri said.