Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Friday said continuing high international oil prices will hurt the global economic recovery as he made a renewed pitch to Saudi Arabia and other OPEC producers to not keep production levels artificially lower. He described India alongside the US, Japan and Korea releasing oil stock from its emergency stockpile as a very bold move.
Earlier this week, India agreed to release 5 million barrels of crude oil from its strategic reserves as part of coordinated international efforts to cool oil prices. The US announced the release of 50 million barrels.
But this did not change the prices much and rates fell to USD 77 per barrel on Friday only because of concerns of a new variant of coronavirus hurting demand.
“Release of strategic oil, whether that is symbolic or real, I don’t know, but it is a very bold move,” Puri said at the India Economic Summit of Republic TV.
India is the world’s third-largest oil consumer and importing nation and has been severely impacted by the relentless rise in international oil prices. Retail petrol and diesel prices shot up to record levels earlier this month before the government cut taxes, costing it Rs 60,000 crore in revenue this year.
Puri said high prices will undermine the global economic recovery.