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India Calls On OPEC+ To Ease Cuts And Stop Pushing Oil Higher

India is calling again on the OPEC+ coalition to boost production from April, because the world’s third-largest oil importer is not particularly happy with this year’s oil price rally.

The OPEC+ group is meeting on Thursday to discuss how to proceed with their collective oil supply management from April, with expectations leaning toward easing of the cuts, at least in some form.

India, which relies on imports for around 80 percent of its oil consumption, has already expressed several times this year its displeasure with the way the OPEC+ group is looking to tighten the market, which leads to oil price spikes.  

This week it was the turn of Tarun Kapoor, a secretary at India’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, who told reporters while on a visit to Moscow on Wednesday, as carried by Bloomberg:

“Artificial cuts to keep the price going up is not something we support.”

During last year’s oil price plunge, India topped its strategic petroleum reserves with oil at $19 a barrel, saving nearly US$700 million in the process, India’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas said in September 2020.

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As oil prices rallied this year and hit their highest level in 13 months at over $60 a barrel, the world’s third-biggest oil importer started to call on OPEC+ to consider the effects of higher oil prices on consumption in recovering economies.

In January, India slammed OPEC for creating confusion with its decisions regarding oil supply. The OPEC+ group back then decided to basically roll over the January production level through February and March, with the exception of slight increases for Russia and Kazakhstan, but Saudi Arabia also announced a unilateral cut of 1 million bpd on top of its quota in February and March.

Last month, India’s Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan warned that higher oil prices could interfere with global economic recovery in the latest signal that the country—one of the world’s biggest drivers of oil demand growth—is unhappy with where prices are going.   

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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