The Indian Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas said a Saudi delegation “assured affirmative consideration” of a request made during meetings in New Delhi for increased oil supplies to compensate for reduced purchases from Iran.
“Acknowledging India’s importance as one of the fastest growing markets in the world,” a ministry statement said, “Saudi Arabia expressed its readiness to engage India and fulfill its energy requirements on a long-term basis.”
In 2010, according to the US Energy Information Administration, India received about 18% of its 2.2 million b/d of oil imports from Saudi Arabia and 11% from Iran.
According to press reports, India sought an additional 100,000 b/d from Saudi Arabia.
The European Union is phasing in sanctions against purchases by its members of Iranian oil and has asked India to support the effort (OGJ Online, Feb. 12, 2012).
Also at the meetings, led by Saudi Assistant Minister for Petroleum Affairs Abdul Aziz Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz and Indian Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri R.P.N. Singh, India invited Saudi Arabia to participate as “a strategic investor” in refining and petrochemical projects.