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India May Significantly Boost U.S. Oil Imports

India and the United States will discuss India’s energy security and the Asian country buying increased volumes of U.S. crude oil when U.S. President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meet later this year, Financial Express reported on Thursday, quoting a senior official.

President Trump is expected to visit India later this year, but no specific date has been set for the visit yet.  

India has already boosted its imports of U.S. crude oil after the United States ended the waivers for Iranian oil customers when it stepped up the sanctions pressure on Iran’s regime last year.

India was until recently Iran’s second-largest oil customer after China, but the U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil exports made India stop purchases of oil from Iran as refiners did not want to risk secondary U.S. sanctions if they continue doing business with Tehran.

Earlier this month, three officials with direct knowledge of the matter told Hindustan Times that India plans to double the volume of its oil imports from the U.S. as it looks to reduce its over-reliance on imports from the Middle East.

Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were India’s largest oil suppliers in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, while Kuwait is also a big supplier of oil to India.

“We are in talks with the US government and private oil firms as petroleum is an unregulated business in that country. We expect good rates and better terms from American firms that would compensate for our transportation costs. In return, we can offer them an assured market,” one of the officials told Hindustan Times.

India, which relies on imports for more than 80 percent of its oil demand, will see its oil consumption grow at the fastest pace than any major economy in the world by 2040, as the country is becoming increasingly influential in global energy markets, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said last week.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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