India seeks to diversify its sources of oil imports, including the resumption of supplies from Iran and Venezuela after U.S. President-elect Joe Biden takes office, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Wednesday, according to international media.
In response to a question about whether he wants Biden administration to ease sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, the minister answered: "As a buyer, I would like more buying places. I should have more destinations to go for purchasing oil."
He also urged oil producers to work towards a more reasonable and responsible pricing to help Asian buyers.
"The days of monopoly is gone. With policy reforms, new business models, level-playing field, greater involvement of startups, diversification of energy sources, India is set to ride the next wave of growth meeting the aspirations of its citizens," Pradhan added.
India was a major buyer of Iranian and Venezuelan oil before the purchases were curtailed after President Donald Trump imposed unilateral sanctions on the two OPEC countries in 2017.
India, which was the largest buyer of Iranian oil after China, stopped buying oil from Tehran in May 2019 and has severely reduced its imports of Venezuelan oil in recent months after Trump imposed sanctions aimed at curbing the Iranian nuclear program and toppling Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
India, the third largest importer and consumer of oil in the world, is looking to diversify its oil imports to buy cheaper oil to reduce its import bill and save foreign exchange. Since sanctions on from Iran and Venezuela have blocked up to 3 million barrels per day, or 3% of world supply.
By Busranur Begcecanli