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The world’s third-biggest crude oil importer, India, is not worried about a shortage of oil supply despite the ongoing OPEC+ production cuts and Saudi Arabia’s decision to ditch capacity expansion plans, India’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Singh Puri, told Bloomberg on Friday.
“There is enough oil in the world and new suppliers are coming in,” Puri said on the sidelines of an energy forum in India.
“You decide, you want to sell it or you want to keep it in the ground,” the minister told Bloomberg.
Saudi Aramco said last week it was ordered by the Kingdom’s leadership to stop work on expanding its maximum sustainable capacity to 13 million barrels per day, instead keeping it at 12 million bpd. The world’s biggest oil firm said in a statement that it would update its capital spending plans for the year in March when it announces its 2023 financial results.
“If the Saudis or anyone else say they don’t want to produce, I think they have the right to do it,” Puri told Bloomberg.
India is not concerned that OPEC+ is withholding supply, either, according to its petroleum minister.
India imports more than 80% of the crude it consumes and aims to diversify its sources of oil supply, looking to buy barrels at bargain prices, including from Russia.
Over the past two years, India has significantly raised its imports of Russian crude to the point that Russia became its top crude oil supplier, ahead of Middle Eastern producers and OPEC members Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Earlier this week, Puri told CNBC on the same forum, the India Energy Week, that India is keeping oil prices lower by buying oil from Russia.
“The world is grateful to India for buying Russian oil,” the minister told CNBC.
“If we start buying more of the Middle Eastern oil, the oil price will not be at $75 or $76. It will be $150.”
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.