India will use whatever margin of persuasion it has while talking to oil producing nations to make sure the fuel prices are down in the country, says Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. He said India’s dependence on traditional energy sources such as petrol and coal will remain for a very long time and the transition to green energy sources will be orderly only if their prices are affordable.
Puri, in his speech at the Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue, said the government is very sensitive to prices. “And I can tell you with total confidence, that we will use whatever margin of persuasion we have, bilaterally with my counterparts, or multilaterally or plurilaterally, to make sure the prices are down.” A week ago, the minister had said India is looking to bring together public sector undertakings (PSU) and private sector refiners to seek better crude oil import deals from Saudi Arabia and other nations.
India imports 85% of its oil needs and is the world’s third largest energy-consuming and importing country. It has been impressing upon producers to raise output to help stabilize rates at affordable levels. Puri said they are going to make the transition to green and sustainable energy very quickly, but dependence on the traditional energy is going to be around for a very long time.
“Let’s make no mistakes on that. If we don’t get the price right, and if we don’t allow energy access at affordable prices, we are going to have a problem in ensuring that the transition from here to green energy will be orderly,” he said. “India is the only country where as the per capita energy consumption is one-third of the global average, the growth will be exponential in terms of energy requirement.”
Puri added that if the prices by the main producers remain high and more oil is not put in the market, it will at some stage affect us. “Today, India’s petrol consumption and diesel consumption is 20% and 12 – 14% higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic, respectively.”