New Delhi – Saudi Arabia committed on Monday to help India meet the required oil supply and promised to hugely invest in fuel retailing and petrochemical business.
Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih speaking at the India Energy Forum praised India’s commendable efforts in rebalancing the economy and referred it as an ‘emerging super-power’.
Indian Prime Minister Narender Modi present at the forum requested the largest oil-producer to reduce the soaring crude oil rates and review the payment terms in order to uplift the deteriorating local currency.
Mr. Falih said, “My frequent visits to India are indicative of the importance Saudi Arabia attaches to this great nation as a critical energy and a strategic global player”.
India is badly dependent on oil imports with over 83% dependency. The surge in oil prices has hit the Indian market by 14.5%.
“Many factors lie outside the control of oil producers like us… we only control supply,” Mr. Falih responded to Modi’s appeal to review prices.
“I had the privilege of meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan today. I assured them of our full and continued commitment of meeting India’s oil demand as well as continuing to invest here in India,” he added.
He also declared plans to build two strategic storage facilities in India to hold 6.5 million tons of oil costing around Rs. 11000 Crores.
“Saudi Aramco’s desire is also to invest in consumer-facing segments such as retail fuels and petrochemicals, building an integrated downstream business spanning India as well as our commitment to invest in crude oil storage here in India in order to be more responsive and closer to the demand needs”, he expressed.
Saudi Aramco together with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) will sign a deal for taking 50% stake in the proposed $44 billion, 60 million tonnes Ratnagiri refinery in Maharastra.
Saudi Arabia is second largest oil exporter after Iraq. Oil prices have hit high after US sanctions on Iran. Oil prices were high earlier this month with $86.74 per barrel, however it’s come down to $81.23 per barrel on Monday.