jr. jagjit singh

India raises pitch as Japan joins chorus against high oil prices


India raised its pitch against rampaging oil and natural gas prices as domestic pump prices hit fresh record on Wednesday, saying the current volatility could boomerang on producers as it will imperil the nascent global economic revival and stunt the growth in oil demand.

With Saudi energy minister Abdulaziz bin Salman, OPEC secretary-general Mohammad Sansui Barkindo and world energy leaders listening, oil minister Hardeep Singh Puri told the SERAWeek India Energy Forum that the world needs “clean, affordable, reliable (and) sustainable” energy to speed up the post pandemic recovery.

“I hope our friends in OPEC+ (the grouping including other major producers such as Russia) will factor in the sentiment that is being echoed. While we are trying to ensure that economic activity accelerates, the fact is that high prices undermine it. If economic activity slows down, then demand for oil and gas will also (decline),” Puri said.

Reminding the global energy leaders how oil prices had crashed to $19 in April 2020 when the pandemic shut down major global economies, Puri said the current situation was a “wake-up call”, indirectly telling producers they too will suffer if economic recovery stumbled due to high oil and gas prices.

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