India eyes better deal with US in energy sector with Iranian oil in sight

11 June, 2019
Source: Sputnik International

In a significant development, amid rising pressure from the US to completely ban crude imports from Iran, India's Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan held wide-ranging telephone discussions with the US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry on Monday evening.

The minister raised the issue of "crude price volatility", emphasizing its impact on Indian consumers during the discussion. 

"Emergence of the US as a source for oil and gas for India also figured during the call," the Petroleum Ministry said, adding that the two countries agreed to "work closely to improve the overall engagement between the countries in the energy sector".

The two ministers discussed the co-operation after India announced it stopped importing Iranian crude after 2 May when the Trump administration revoked sanctions waivers which it granted to eight countries, including India, in November last year.

Since November, India was importing 1.25 million metric tons of crude oil from the Persian nation till 2 May this year.

"Indian oil refiners have been taking supplies from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to compensate for loss of Iranian oil. However, a limited amount of Iranian crude which was loaded ahead of 2 May also arrived this month," a petroleum ministry official said on the condition of anonymity.

The Indian government had already started discussions to resume the importing of Iranian crude.

These developments have been taking place in the backdrop of last month's statement by US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that the US government will not force its private firms to supply crude at a concessional rate.

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