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India will buy oil from anyone who gives it at cheaper, the government will always keep the interests of the country on priority: Pradhan

India will buy oil from the country which will agree on cheaper rates and fair trade terms. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said this after he did not get a proper response from Saudi Arabia on the request for relaxation in production control. At an event, Pradhan said, “India will take its interests into consideration when making strategic and economic decisions.” We are consumers of oil and we have to keep importing it for a long time. In such a situation, we will buy oil from anyone who will give it at a lower price and easily. ‘

Pradhan also expressed disappointment at Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman’s response to India’s request to take a soft approach to production cuts and reduce prices. Pradhan said that such a reply from a close friend country is very non-diplomatic. Pradhan said, ‘India has its own strategy about when and how to use its reserves. We are cautious about our interests. The Saudi minister said that India should extract oil from its strategic reserves, which it filed last year at record low prices, rather than asking producing countries to increase production and hold prices.

At present, the figures for last month are also giving testimony of India’s steps towards purchasing oil from other sources. The US became India’s second-largest supplier in February, beating Saudi Arabia. On the basis of these figures, on the question of America’s preference over Saudi Arabia, Pradhan said, “The question is not who we are getting close to. The issue is who is better for our interests. India is an open market. Our oil marketing companies are free to buy oil from any part of the world. India’s interest is paramount.

India is the third-largest oil importing country in the world. Iraq is India’s largest oil supplier. The UAE, Kuwait and Nigeria are also among the major suppliers to India. Recently the refineries here have increased their procurement from countries outside West Asia to diversify the sources of supply.

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