The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is in “catholic marriage” with India, said secretary-general Mohammad Barkindo as the country is one of the biggest consumers of crude oil and there is a vested interest in its economic growth and prosperity.
On dealing with continuously rising demand for crude oil, Barkindo told CNBC-TV18 that India and OPEC and non-OPEC members “are in the same boat”, with the former accounting for a bulk of the total demand and the latter being the biggest producer. Presently, India imports roughly 80% of its total crude oil consumption and is third largest oil consumer in the world.
He said that to meet the current and future demand for crude oil, investments worth $11 trillion will be required. “…Producing countries in OPEC and non-OPEC declaration of cooperation are in catholic marriage with India. We are in this boat together and we have to put the issue of investment on the front banner,” Barkindo, who was here for the India Energy Forum told the news channel.
The OPEC secy-general said that the demand will continue to grow by 14.5 million barrels a day until 2040 and that oil and gas will continue to dominate the energy basket. “With rising demand, the available spare capacity is thining out. We have figure out how to bring back investment,” Barkindo added.
OPEC’s interview followed a crucial meeting held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Saudi Arabia Oil Minister Khalid A Al-Falih, oil companies and other key stakeholders on Monday, which also witnessed worries over little investment in oil and gas exploration sector.
Modi asked why there were no new investments in oil and gas exploration despite the government facilitating a conducive environment. In the meeting, India also asked Saudi Arabia to consider alternative payments method to ease the pressure on the rupee.
Oil prices have surged in last one year, with frequent fluctuations, due to several factors such as the conscious decision by oil-producing countries to tighten supply, Venezuelan economic crisis, and most recently, the US sanction on Iran.