Davos 2023: OPEC Says Committed To Meeting India's Oil Demand As Russian Imports Surge
OPEC secretary general Haitham Al Ghais assured sustaining the dialogue between the oil producers' bloc and stakeholders in India.
At a time India's import of cheaper Russian crude surges, OPEC said it's committed to meeting the projected rise in demand from the country.
OPEC sees India rising as an "oil-demand centre" for many decades to come with refining capacity growing significantly, Haitham Al Ghais, secretary general of oil cartel, told BQ Prime's Niraj Shah on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum summit in Davos.
"We are committed to the dialogue we have with India, our Indian partners in the petroleum industry, the refiners (and) the ministry," he said. "We are committed to supporting this economic growth in India through providing the oil that India requires."
India, the world's third biggest oil importer, bought a record amount of Russian crude at 1.2 million barrels a day in December, Bloomberg reported citing data from energy cargo tracking platform Vortexa. The country is now India’s biggest source of crude, overtaking Iraq and Saudi Arabia several months ago, as domestic refiners favour lower-priced supply from Russia, which is part of an expanded OPEC+.
Russian oil, accounting for over 10% share in the global market, is available at deeper discounts after the G7 bloc and the European Union imposed a price cap of $60 a barrel to punish its invasion of Ukraine. The benchmark Brent crude was trading above $87 on Wednesday.
Al Ghais said OPEC member countries have business with the Indian refiners. "We look forward to continuing this support, which is mutual and beneficial to both India and our member countries."
The OPEC secretary general, who will also attend the India Energy Week in Bengaluru in February, assured sustaining the dialogue between the oil producers' bloc and stakeholders in India.
"OPEC is always supporting the dialogue between producing countries and consumer countries. Our member countries have some of the largest producers of oil in the world," he said.
India is one of the largest consumers, and the rising and growing consumer in the world, Al Ghais said. "So this dialogue is critical and very important to develop a mutual understanding of how things will evolve for the future of India, and also for our member countries and the rest of the world."
Watch the complete conversation here: