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Undiplomatic wrangling

India-Saudi relationship must survive oil price dispute

Topics
India-Saudi Arabia | India oil imports | Crude Oil Price

Business Standard Editorial Comment 



A long brewing disagreement between India and Saudi Arabia over the price of crude oil has spilled out into the open in recent weeks. In February, Saudi Arabia fell out of the top four sources for crude oil imports, with 1.8 million metric tonnes of oil being brought into India from the kingdom. That means Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, and Nigeria sent more oil to India in February than Saudi Arabia did. More broadly, it has been reported that the Indian state-controlled refinery companies will cut imports from Saudi Arabia by more than a third in May. While normally the refiners buy almost 15 million barrels of crude oil a month from Saudi Arabia, they are due to lift only 9.5 million barrels in May. India had already complained about output cuts from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, which were meant to drive crude up to a level that the cartel’s member countries thought would be sustainable for their economies. Saudi Arabia had in fact planned even deeper unilateral cuts.

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First Published: Thu, April 08 2021. 23:16 IST

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