India “relaxed” about OPEC+ oil production cuts, Minister reports

Bloomberg News February 11, 2024

(Bloomberg) – India’s oil minister said the country isn’t concerned about OPEC+’s production cuts and Saudi Arabia’s recent decision not to expand production capacity.

India's oil Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri

“There is enough oil in the world and new suppliers are coming in,” Hardeep Singh Puri said on the sidelines of India Energy Week in Goa. “You decide, you want to sell it or you want to keep it in the ground.”

The world’s third-biggest oil importer behind China and the U.S., India is set to be the single largest source of global oil demand growth between now and 2030 thanks to a booming economy, growing middle class and youthful demographics, according to the International Energy Agency.

India’s oil-buying spree comes as OPEC and its allies, including Russia, are capping their production amid demand concerns. OPEC+ agreed to withhold roughly 2 MMbpd in the first quarter to avert a glut. In addition, Saudi Aramco last month pulled back on a plan to boost its oil production capacity to 13 MMbpd by 2027, raising further questions about the kingdom’s view on future consumption.

“If the Saudis or anyone else say they don’t want to produce, I think they have the right to do it,” Puri said.

Puri’s comments represent a more relaxed stance toward OPEC+ cuts than New Delhi has shown in the past. There was a visible rift between the two sides in 2021, when India repeatedly urged the alliance to bolster production and complained during a public conference that OPEC+ policy was “creating confusion for the consuming countries.”

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