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India Turns To OPEC Nations Saudi, UAE For Oxygen
Saudi Arabia's energy minister said India should first use the stocks of crude it bought cheaply during the price slump in 2020.
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India has turned to OPEC nations particularly Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait for sourcing medical oxygen in its battle against the world's worst outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan turned to India's traditional oil suppliers, consulting his counterparts in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain to bridge the huge deficit of medical oxygen the country is facing for treating COVID patients.
'Had close consultations during the last week with my counterparts from Saudi Arabia, UAE & Qatar on ways to increase import of LMO into India. Deeply appreciate the initial gesture of goodwill with complimentary LMO supplies particularly from UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain & Saudi Arabia,' Pradhan tweeted.
Record coronavirus infections of 4,14,188 have taken the total new cases for the week to 15.7 crore. Deaths from COVID-19 rose by 3,915 to 2,34,083.
He said state-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and gas utility GAIL will be arranging for logistics to transport the oxygen.
Commercial supplies of oxygen into the country are being secured.
'In my discussions with HRH Prince Abdulaziz, Minister of Energy of Saudi Arabia, HE Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and CEO of @AdnocGroup, and H.E Mr Saad Sherida al- Kaabi, Minister of Energy and President of @qatarpetroleum, I received their wholesome support for ensuring commercial supply of LMO to India, especially at a time when India is battling the second wave of the #Covid19 pandemic,' he said.
He went on to state that commercial supplies of oxygen will come in the coming weeks.
'My deep appreciation to HRH Abdulaziz, HE Dr Sultan Jaber, HE Sherida al-Kaabi for their extended support & special gesture of solidarity with India through the offer of ISO Containers for the next 6 months. Assurance of steady commercial supply of LMO to India is also welcomed,' he said.
Pradhan turned to OPEC nations weeks after a spat with OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia over rising oil prices.
In March, OPEC and its allies left oil output unchanged despite a near doubling of oil prices since the start of November, sparking a spat. Pradhan expressed disappointment at the decision and said the government has asked oil companies to look for diversification of supplies.
In response, Saudi Arabia's energy minister said India should first use the stocks of crude it bought cheaply during the price slump in 2020.
India buys 85 per cent of its oil needs, two-third of which come from OPEC countries. Iraq is its largest supplier, followed by Saudi Arabia and UAE.