EconomicTimes: Saudi Arabia Ready For Investment In India

Image source: Wikimedia Commons  (CC BY-SA 2.0) | Credit to: UNCTAD

Image source: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0) | Credit to: UNCTAD


Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi is ready for big-ticket investment in India and is unfazed by crude’s dramatic fall. The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) kingpin said the international oil cartel will expand its market share, suggesting that high-cost suppliers may crumble and prices will rise again. In a rare interview with an Indian publication, the usually reticent, soft-spoken oil czar also strongly disagreed with Indian counterpart Dharmendra Pradhan’s forcefully articulated assertion that countries like Saudi Arabia were unfairly charging an ‘Asian premium.’

This refers to allegedly higher rates for oil sold to Asia compared with supplies to distant western buyers.

“There is no Asian premium. There is a misconception, complete misconception. What is the Asian premium? I have no idea,” he told ET in Istanbul, where he attended the first meeting of G-20 energy ministers. In June, Pradhan told OPEC in Vienna that given the new market realities, there should be an Asian discount, not a premium, and OPEC needed to end the practice immediately. While Al-Naimi disagreed with Pradhan’s view, he expressed warmth and goodwill toward India and repeatedly articulated the eagerness of the world’s top oil exporter to ensure smooth energy supplies to the country, where it has regularly shipped numerous giant tankers to state-owned refineries and Reliance Industries’ Jamnagar plant, the world’s largest refining complex.

“India is a big customer of ours. We are also committed to ensure supplies that are essential for India,” he said. Al-Naimi said Saudi Arabia was interested in investment in refining, marketing and petrochemicals in India, for which the kingdom has been in talks for some. “But (it) hasn’t gelled yet. Hopefully these talks will come to a good conclusion,” he said.

Read the full article: ‘Asian premium’ a misconception, ready for big-ticket investment in India: Saudi Oil Minister Al-Naimi | The Economic Times

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