Pradhan raises issue of Asian premium charged on oil with OPEC

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Traders said that oil prices received support from a statement by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) saying that oil markets had re-balanced following years of oversupply.

Calling for an immediate relief from the Asian premium levied by OPEC, India's Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan asked the cartel to give wider consideration to the perspective of consumer countries at its ministerial meetings.

Pradhan reiterated that OPEC should work towards a "responsible pricing" that is important for India for socio-economic and developmental reasons. India now sources about 86% of crude oil, 75% of natural gas, and 95% of LPG from OPEC member countries.

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October WTI crude oil settled at $48.41, up $0.58 or +1.21% and November Brent crude oil closed at $52.24, up $0.66 or +1.28%. He was also quoted by Reuters saying that he saw no objection within OPEC to extending the deal for cutting oil output.

Pradhan highlighted that in the now oversupplied crude market, it is important for producers to understand the perspective of consuming countries and the changes that have taken place in these demand centres, and suggested that the OPEC at its ministerial meetings give wider consideration to Indias requests.

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"Three Indian public sector refineries have already placed a cumulative order of 7.85 million barrel from the US". In addition, a private sector refiner has also placed an order of 2 million barrel from the USA, the statement added.

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CEOs and top officials from Rosneft, BP, Reliance, Saudi Aramco, Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Vedanta, Wood MacKenzie, IHS Markit, Schlumberger, Halliburton, Xcoal, ONGC, IndianOil, GAIL, Petronet LNG, Oil India, HPCL, Delonex Energy, NIPFP, International Gas Union, World Bank, and International Energy Agency were present at the meeting.

The shipment of crude oil which is $2 a barrel cheaper than Dubai crude arrived at the Paradip port last week.

Last November, major oil producers agreed to cut output as a response to the global supply glut that had been pushing down prices for almost two years. Lower compliance with the curbs promised by some nations combined with rising production in OPEC members Libya and Nigeria - both exempt from reducing output due to their internal strife - have added pressure on Saudi Arabia to make deeper cuts of its own.

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