November 14 2019
More crude sought from Saudi Arabia
23 February 2012

Seeking to lessen its dependence on Iran crude oil in view of rising tensions due to sanctions by the U.S. and the EU against Iran, India on Thursday asked Saudi Arabia for an additional 5 million tonnes of crude oil for next fiscal.

Briefing journalists after his bilateral meeting with visiting Assistant Minister for Petroleum Affairs Abdul Aziz Bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas R. P. N. Singh said India had sought 5 million tonnes more crude oil from Saudi Arabia in 2012-13. India buys 27 million tonnes of crude oil per annum from Saudi Arabia while its annual import from Iran is about 17 million tonnes.

Mr. Abdulaziz said Indian companies would have to approach Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia's National Oil Company, for their requirements and as long as they could work out a commercial relationship, it was fine with the government. He said his country had a spare production capacity of 2.5 million barrels per day beyond the current output of 9.8 million barrels a day. India also sought more LPG from Saudi Arabia to meet growing energy needs.

Mr. Singh said India's refining capacity was increasing and lot of additional crude would be required and that was something for which the country was looking towards Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries.

Mr. Singh said he conveyed India's requirement of incremental quantities of Saudi Arabian oil in the years ahead considering the ongoing expansion in refining capacity in the country. Also, India sought more LPG to meet rural cooking gas demand. India imports nearly 2 million tonnes of LPG from Saudi Arabia.

In a related development, state-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) has decided to double crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia next fiscal and cut purchases from Iran by over 14 per cent.

HPCL, in 2012-13, has proposed to buy 3.5 million tonnes of crude oil from Saudi Aramco of Saudi Arabia against 1.75 million tonnes of oil bought in the current year. It will cut down purchases from Iran to 3 million tonnes in the year beginning April from 3.5 million tonnes in the current year.



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