May 5, 2022
NEW DELHI – India today asserted that its energy purchases from Russia remain minuscule in comparison to the country’s total consumption, dismissing attempts by a section of the media to sensationalise routine purchases by Indian Oil Companies.
”India’s legitimate energy transactions cannot be politicized. Energy flows are yet to be sanctioned,” the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural gas said in a statement.
The statement noted that a recent article, following closely on the heels of a series of similar pieces by certain media platforms, made conjectures and sought to sensationalise the routine purchase of crude oil by Indian Oil Companies from Russia based on concocted “source-based” stories.
”Such blatant misuse of the freedom of the press could be disregarded but cannot, in this case, because this is a part of a pre-meditated attempt to further destabilise an already fragile global oil market,” the statement said.
It explained that India’s energy needs were enormous with daily consumption of around five million barrels and a refining capacity of 250 MMTPA. For energy security and to fulfil its objective of providing energy justice to each of its citizens, Indian Energy companies were buying from all major oil producers in the world. On average, India has the unique distinction of servicing 60 million visitors at its petrol pumps every single day. Despite challenging times, it was important for the government to ensure access to affordable energy for Indian citizens.
The statement said India’s top ten import destinations were mostly from West Asia. In the recent past, the US has become a major crude oil source for India, supplying almost $13 billion worth of energy imports, with almost 7.3 per cent of the market share of crude oil imports.
It said India has been constrained to pay ever-increasing prices charged by certain oil suppliers, which was leading India to diversify its sources of procurement. Meanwhile, energy demand in India remained inelastic. At the current price levels, many countries in the immediate neighbourhood were facing severe fuel shortages and chaos due to high fuel inflation.
The statement said Indian Energy companies have been sourcing energy supplies from Russia on a sustained basis over the past several years. Yearly figures might have varied due to a variety of reasons, including operational necessities. ”If suddenly, now, as a huge importer of crude oil, India pulls back on its diversified sources, concentrating on the remaining, in an already constrained market, it will lead to further volatility and instability, jacking up international prices,” it added.
The statement further added; ”Despite attempts to portray it otherwise, energy purchases from Russia remain minuscule in comparison to India’s total consumption. Journalists who wish to get a better understanding of the ever-evolving energy situation would be well advised to turn their attention to other parts of the world to countries which are major consumers of energy supplied from Russia.”