MOS PNG Dharmendra Pradhan at OPEC HQ at Vienna CO-Chairs India-OPEC Institutional Dialogue

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel May 23, 2017 08:58

MOS PNG Dharmendra Pradhan at OPEC HQ at Vienna CO-Chairs India-OPEC Institutional Dialogue


By TN Ashok

Vienna (Austria) , May 23: The Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan today had a one-to-one meeting with the OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo and  discussed bilateral issues focusing on the impact on India on the effects of production cutback of 1.8 mbpd by OPEC and non-OPEC countries to stabilise prices due to global oil market volatility.

The meeting India had with OPEC is considered significant as it took place took place two days prior to the OPEC Ministerial meeting scheduled for May 25.

Pradhan said India was a reliable customer of OPEC countries, the only big economy,  where the demand for crude oil continues to rise each year. About 86% of India’s import of crude oil, 70% of natural gas, 95% of LPG are from OPEC countries.India’s refining capacity was on the rise and it was an expansion plan. He said the  petrochemical sector in India was expanding in a big way.

Pradhan underlined the importance of market and reiterated the need to intensify bilateral dialogue to change the nature of engagement from a buyer-seller relationship to an Energy Partnership. He said in today’s oversupplied market, it was important for producers to understand the perspective of consumers and the demand centers and the changes that have taken place in these demand centres.

Pradhan stressed on the fact that while the security of supplies was important for consuming countries, the security of demand was equally important for producers. In this context, he emphasised the importance of a purposeful and improved dialogue among producer and consumer countries, particularly benefitting India as a fast growing market.

Pradhan strongly reiterated that as a large import destination there should be no ‘Asian Premium’ on the crude supplied to India and Asian buyers. He stressed India provided timely payments and honored all its contractual commitments and demanded due acknowledgment through discount in prices for large volumes that India imports. For a long time OPEC subsidised western buyers at the cost of Asian buyers. Given the importance of Asian market for OPEC, particularly fast growing Indian market, which stood by OPEC as a reliable and continued customer, Pradhan demanded ‘Asian Dividend rather then paying Asian Premium’.

Pradhan also stressed that the OPEC should work towards “Responsible Pricing” which is important for India for socio-economic and developmental reasons. It would allow India to provide energy to the common and marginalised people who have been deprived of access to energy so far. Higher crude prices would retard growth rate which will result in slowing down the demand of crude oil.

 

The minister highlighted the fact that the Energy Mix in India is undergoing major changes with renewables coming in a big way and pricing of solar energy coming down to 4 cents per unit. There is also a shift in focus to solar, wind, biomass, Electric Vehicles, Hybrid cars etc. He emphasised that the oil Industry is at the cross roads and higher crude prices will give a further push to renewables.

On the proposed plan of continued production cut by OPEC and non-OPEC countries, Pradhan said that energy security was a full circle. He said that while the production cut is an attempt to arrest the slide in prices, however, it also has an inherent chance of under investment and consumer’s needs not being met in the long run, which is not in the interest of a balanced and healthy global oil and gas market.

Pradhan was accompanied by Secretary Petroleum, Indian Ambassador in Vienna and CEOs of seven large refiners of India,  both from public and private sector including IOCL, HPCL, BPCL, MRPL, HMEL,  Reliance and Essar. The CEOs emphasised their points of view during the OPEC meeting.

This is the first time that both public sector and private refiners from India came together to present their common issues, concerns and demands before the OPEC.

Pradhan thanked the Secretary General for hosting the meeting and extending hospitality to the delegation.It was agreed that India will host the next meeting during 2018

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel May 23, 2017 08:58

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