India’s refiners have been buying low-priced crude oil from Russia since the war between Russia and Ukraine began in February 2022, accumulating 36% of the country’s oil imports.
India’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Singh Puri, told CNBC that India kept oil prices affordable by buying oil from Russia, while also pointing out that buying oil from the Middle East would not be as cheap.
This led India’s oil imports from the Middle East to drop to a record low.
Oil prices constantly gained from the conflict and tension in the Middle East and the Red Sea, while rising output from the US and a slowed global economy brought the price down from time to time.
The report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) on Wednesday stated the expectation for India to be the largest driver for the growth of global oil demand from 2023 to 2030.
India Prime Minister Narendra Modi planned to uplift the capacity of the country’s annual oil refining by 80% to 450 million tons, as he showed confidence that India could reach the target.