US encourages India to participate in its petroleum reserve after Russia’s offer

The United States has been in contact with several countries, including India, on the release of strategic reserves. US President Joe Biden announced the release of one million barrels of oil per day from the country’s strategic petroleum reserves over the next six months to keep the lid on oil prices that have spiraled in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“We have so far seen a rather extraordinary willingness to participate – including the International Energy Agency (IEA) and non-IEA members – to participate in these coordinated releases, including the Indian government so far. So, the work of diplomacy and engagement with our allies and partners aim to ensure that it continues, says Brian Deese, White House Director of the NEC (National Economic Council).

On the other hand, Russia on Thursday offered India strong discounts on direct purchases of oil – 15 million barrels in the first deal. The sanctioned nation will later offer its flagship Urals class to India at discounts of as much as $ 35 a barrel, according to Bloomberg News.

India, the number 2 oil importer in Asia, is among a handful of nations that have doubled the number of Russian crude oil, despite international pressure and US and European sanctions.

Russian barrels have flowed to Asia in larger volumes as buyers across Europe and the United States avoid supply after the invasion of Ukraine. India and China have been the key buyers.

India has pointed out that Russia sells more to European countries than India and that it welcomes all competitive offers to meet the growing domestic demand.

“When prices go up, I think it is natural for countries to look for good deals for their people,” said Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, citing reports that European countries bought nearly 15% more oil from Russia in March. . than February.

He also pointed out that India – the world’s third largest oil importer – continues to rely on supplies from the Middle East and that Russian sources were less than 1%.

Oil is a key ingredient for India – which imports about 85% of its needs.

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