With domestic retail fuel prices soaring to record high on rising global oil rates, India on Thursday asked oil cartel OPEC for ‘affordable’ oil price within a ‘reasonable band’ and that the producers should phase out production cuts.
OPEC nations such as Saudi Arabia have mostly been India’s principal oil source. But, OPEC and its allies — called OPEC+ — ignoring its call for ease supply curbs had led to the world’s third-biggest oil importer tap newer sources to diversify its crude oil imports.
As a result, OPEC’s share in India’s oil imports has dropped to about 60 per cent in May from 74 per cent in the previous month.
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in virtual dialogue with OPEC secretary general Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo reiterated concerns over oil prices, which have shot up above $75 per barrel — highest since April 2019.