- Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently met chiefs of national and international oil and gas companies and other stakeholders to discuss the challenges posed by volatile oil prices.
- Oil prices have increased in 2018 on expectations that U.S. sanctions on Iran will strain supplies by lowering shipment from Iran. Brent crude breached four year highs to reach $86.74 a barrel in early October, the highest since 2014.
- Increasing tensions between the US and Venezuela, Indian rupee’s performance as Asia’s worst performing currency further worsened situation in India
About the meeting:
4.The meeting, coordinated by the NITI Aayog focussed on challenges posed by volatile oil prices and the US sanctions on Iran.
- Indian Prime Minister highlighted that the major oil consuming countries, face many other economic challenges including serious resource crunch due to rising oil prices. The cooperation of the oil producing countries would be very critical to bridge this gap.
- The government sought a review of payment terms with major oil producers to combat high oil prices.
- Saudi Arabia and UAE reiterated that the West Asian countries are interested in investing in India’s petroleum downstream segment, including petrochemicals, refinery and retail.
- Further, Saudi Arabia’s mining and fertiliser firm Maaden is interested in investing in phosphate fertiliser sector in India and has signed a pact in this regard