India flexes its economic muscle by cutting Saudi oil imports amid escalating standoff over output
Sudhir Chadda, New Delhi
Mar. 17, 2021

Image credit: IndianOil - The Energy of India: Screenshot from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q178RBul0Dw

Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, as well as Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals are planning to cut oil imports from Saudi Arabia by about 25% in May. India’s request to increase crude production were ignored by OPEC.

India’s oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan has called on OPEC+ again and again to ease supply curbs as India's economy was being hit hard by growing oil prices. India is the third largest importer of crude oil. In India perception is that Saudi Arabia’s voluntary cuts is contributing to a spike in global oil prices. Saudi officials want India to use its strategic oil reserve acquired at a very low price last year.

Indian retaliation may be just the beginning. India plans to diversify acquisition of petroleum products from US, Russia, and other countries.



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