April 10, 2020
While India continues to increase domestic oil and gas output, the country’s import has also risen to support the rapidly-increasing consumption
The Indian Government has taken the initiative to provide 80.3 million poor families free LPG cylinders, as part of a US$23 billion relief package
The G20 energy ministers discussed measures to tackle weak demand in COVID-19 economy as well as the ongoing surplus production-related challenges
At the meeting, Minister Pradhan stated that India has always advocated for a stable oil market, reasonable for producers and affordable for consumers
India’s Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, participated in the G20 Extraordinary Energy Ministers’ virtual meeting on April 10, 2020. The meeting was called by Saudi Arabia, in its capacity as the G20 Presidency, and chaired by Saudi Arabia Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz. The meeting was attended by energy ministers of G20 countries, guest countries and heads of international organizations including the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the International Energy Forum (IEF).
At the meeting, the G20 energy ministers focused on ways and means to ensure stable energy markets, which have been affected due to dropping demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the ongoing surplus production-related challenges. During the meeting, Shri Pradhan reiterated Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s call for G20 to take a human-centric approach for overcoming challenging hardships, especially for the vulnerable. He highlighted the Indian Government’s initiative to provide 80.3 million poor families free LPG cylinders, as part of a US$23 billion relief package.
He emphasized that India was, and will continue to be, the global energy demand centre. He highlighted the Government of India’s efforts to fill in our Strategic Petroleum Reserves. The country is currently the world’s third-largest oil consumer. In terms of the ongoing energy market fluctuations, the Minister stated that India has always advocated for a stable oil market, reasonable for producers, and affordable for consumers. The G20 meeting adopted a Joint Statement which proposes to establish a task force to advise the G20 Energy Ministers on the next steps in strengthening the market.
At the meeting, Minister Pradhan appreciated the collective efforts of OPEC and OPEC-plus countries to balance the supply-side factors which are imperative for long-term sustainability. He, however, urged that oil prices should be targeted to affordable levels to allow for a consumption-led demand recovery. While India continues to increase domestic oil and gas output, the country’s import has also risen to support the rapidly-increasing consumption. India is a key stakeholder of the international energy market and the meeting provided the platform for India to put forward concerns and suggestions.