Saudi to aid India in case of oil shortfall

Saudi Arabia has promised to augment its crude oil export to India in case of any shortfall in the supply from Iran in the wake of United States sanctions on the Persian Gulf nation. DH file photo

Saudi Arabia has promised to augment its crude oil export to India in case of any shortfall in the supply from Iran in the wake of United States sanctions on the Persian Gulf nation.

Energy security figured prominently in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent meeting with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman al Saud, who is also known as MBS, in Buenos Aires. MBS reassured Modi that Saudi Arabia would be ready to help India maintain its energy security in case of any contingency caused by US sanctions on export of crude oil from Iran, sources in New Delhi said.

Saudi Arabia has been the biggest supplier of crude oil to India followed by Iraq and Iran. India has been importing an average of 25 million barrels of crude oil from Saudi Arabia every month. After the US reimposed sanctions on Iran particularly targeting the oil export from the West Asian nation, India imported an additional four million barrels from Saudi Arabia in November.

MBS promised Modi in Buenos Aires that Saudi Arabia would continue to meet the increasing demand for crude oil in India in future too.

The US granted India a waiver, allowing it to continue importing crude oil from Iran, albeit in a lesser quantity. New Delhi officially did not make public the quantum of cut it pledged to make in its crude oil import from Iran in order to secure the waiver from the US. Sources, however, said that New Delhi had conveyed to Washington D.C. that it should be allowed to continue to import 300,000 barrels per day from Iran — a substantial reduction from normal volumes of around 450,000 to 550,000 barrels per day.

The prime minister conveyed to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia his concerns over volatility in energy prices. The two leaders discussed the ways Saudi Arabia could help stabilise energy prices, particularly for India, said sources.

MBS and Modi also discussed proposals about Saudi Arabian investment in the agriculture sector in India and how agricultural products produced with investment by Saudi Arabian companies in India could be taken to the kingdom itself.

The Saudi Crown Prince conveyed to Modi that Riyadh would soon finalise an initial investment into the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund of India.

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Saudi to aid India in case of oil shortfall

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