India To Source Crude From Any Country That Offers Cheaper Oil, Provides Favourable Business Terms: Petroleum Minister

India To Source Crude From Any Country That Offers Cheaper Oil, Provides Favourable Business Terms: Petroleum MinisterMinister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan (NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images)

Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday (26 March) said that India, which is the world's third-largest oil importer, will source crude oil from any country that offers cheaper oil and provide favourable business terms, reports Livemint.

Speaking at the Times Network's India Economic Conclave, Pradhan said that India will decide on sourcing crude oil while keeping its strategic and economic interests in mind. He added that the nation's oil marketing companies are free to source oil from any part of the world.

Pradhan clearly stated that the Indian common man's interest is paramount in the government's decision.

The minister further said, "It's not the issue of we are going to be closer to whom. The issue is who is going to serve our interests. Today Iraq is the number one supplier of our requirement. We are taking substantial amount from UAE also. UAE is a very reliable partner for India in crude oil supply. We have some offtake conditions from Kuwait also, from certain African countries also. We are open, we are a free market."

The statement by Pradhan come at a time when India is increasingly diversifying its energy basket. This has resulted in a surge in crude oil imports from the United States (US), which helped India dislodge Saudi Arabia as its second-largest oil supplier in February.

“Whoever offers us the cheapest and easily available (oil), we will take oil from them. That is our priority. Whichever that country may be and for that whatever needs to be done, we will do," Pradhan said.

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