Published: Tue, October 16, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

PM Modi Warns Oil Producers Over High Crude Prices Hurting Global Growth

PM Modi Warns Oil Producers Over High Crude Prices Hurting Global Growth

The country is over 83 per cent dependent on imports to meet its oil needs.

"To strengthen relations with India is a strategic priority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia", he said.

Pradhan had last week said two state-owned oil refiners have booked import of 1.25 million tonne (MT) of crude oil from Iran in November.

"There is no issue of availability of crude oil today. That is the primary challenge", Pradhan said. Those sanctions would block banking channels, making payment for oil bought from Iran hard as well as stop re-insurance cover to refineries processing such oil.

"The market has again expressed concerns over geopolitical tensions in the Middle East after US and Saudi traded comments over the disappearance of the Saudi journalist, leading to a jump in prices", Wang Xiao, head of crude research with Guotai Junan Futures, wrote in a research note.

An American government official said in early October that the U.S. government was actively considering waivers on sanctions for countries that are lowering their imports of Iranian oil.

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Crude markets were also supported in the wake of data that showed South Korea did not import any oil from Iran in September for the first time in six years, before USA sanctions against the Middle Eastern country take effect in November.

OPEC, he said, had in June made a decision to raise production by 1 million barrels per day.

Saudi Arabia has been under pressure since Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Riyadh and a USA resident, disappeared on October 2 after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Asked whether India has sought waiver from the United States related to Iranian oil imports as Indian oil firms have booked Iranian oil cargo for November, he said "sentiment" rather than availability is the issue. The meet was part of 40 heads of top oil companies and organisations. Subjects such as expansion of oil and gas infrastructure in India; enhancing exploration and production; potential in solar energy and biofuels; and the government's holistic approach to the energy sector came up for discussion.

"These optional volumes can be taken at any time of the year and would be more than sufficient to make up for any shortfall that may arise because of the U.S. sanctions against Iran".

Meanwhile, South Korea in September stopped importing Iranian oil for the first time in years.

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