India’s Oil Imports Policy: Hardeep Singh Puri Affirms Willingness to Buy from Non-Sanctioned Countries
India’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Singh Puri, recently stated that India is open to purchasing oil from any country that is not under international sanctions, including Venezuela. This announcement comes as India seeks to diversify its sources of oil imports and ensure a stable supply for its growing energy needs.
India is the world’s third-largest consumer of crude oil, with approximately 85% of its oil requirements being met through imports. Traditionally, India has relied heavily on the Middle East for its oil supplies, but recent geopolitical tensions and fluctuations in global oil prices have prompted the country to explore alternative options.
Puri emphasized that India’s decision to buy oil from non-sanctioned countries, such as Venezuela, is driven by economic considerations rather than political affiliations. He stated, “Our foreign policy is not determined by the policies of other countries. Our foreign policy is determined by our national interest.”
India’s Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Singh Puri, has announced that India will continue to buy crude oil from Venezuela as long as it is allowed to do so. However, the country is willing to resume oil purchases from any other country that is not under sanctions.
India paid an average price of $84.20 per barrel for Russian oil in October, which was significantly higher than the $60 price cap set by the G7 block. The lifting of sanctions will come as a relief for India, as it has been taking advantage of cheaper Russian oil offered at a discount due to the sanctions imposed by developed countries on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Due to the surge in global commodity prices, including oil, India has sharply increased its imports from Russia. However, the increase in price being paid for Russian oil has led to a decline in India’s crude oil imports from Russia for the second consecutive month in November. Vortex, an energy cargo tracker, reported that India imported 1.48 million barrels per day in November from Russia, down from 1.55 million barrels per day in October.
The US eased its sanctions on the Venezuelan oil sector in October, and India last imported crude oil from the country in 2020.
In 2019-20, India imported $6.03 billion worth of petroleum oil from Venezuela—down 17 percent from 2018-19—which made up 99.5 percent of India’s total imports from the country.
India’s stance on oil imports aligns with its broader strategy to diversify its energy mix and reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. The country has made significant investments in renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, and aims to increase the share of renewable energy in its total energy consumption to 40% by 2030.
While India’s willingness to buy oil from non-sanctioned countries provides potential opportunities for countries like Venezuela, it also underscores the importance of maintaining stable diplomatic relations and adhering to international norms. As global dynamics continue to evolve, India’s approach to oil imports will likely adapt to ensure energy security and economic stability.