India may turn to Iran, Venezuela for oil imports

India may make diplomatic efforts to organise oil-consuming countries against the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) as producers keep crude prices artificially high by restricting supply, and also plans to resume import of cheaper energy from countries such as Iran and Venezuela to counter the oil cartel, two officials said.

Domestic fuel prices have spiked because of rising energy demand after rapid recovery of major economies from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the oil cartel continues to restrict supply, which is a major concern for New Delhi, they said on condition of anonymity.

“The current crisis is artificially created by oil producers. Diplomatic efforts are on to ease the supply situation,” one of the officials said. Retail prices of petrol and diesel in India jumped by ₹3.63 per litre and ₹3.84 a litre, respectively, in just 12 days since February 8.

India has already requested OPEC and its allies, including Russia (together known as OPEC+) to immediately restore the output that was substantially cut to stabilise crude prices when the Covid-19 pandemic began raging and most of the global economies were under lockdowns, the officials said.

hindustan times
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