Saudi Arabia's Diwali Gift to India: Uninterrupted Oil Supply Despite Aramco Hit, Regional Turmoil
India sources almost 18 per cent of its oil requirement from Saudi Arabia, with 39.8 million metric tonne imported last year.
PM Narendra Modi meets H.M. King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (PTI)
Just a little over a month ago, Saudi Arabia’s oil processing facilities of Aramco were hit in Abqaiq and Khurais. With the hit, five per cent of the global crude oil production was immediately knocked out. And with that rose concerns of some major spike in prices.
Already battling an economic slowdown, this could have especially hurt India in the run-up to the festive season the past month. The government was worried and hence, a call went from petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan to the new Saudi energy minister Abdulaziz bin Salman with a request to not allow the hit to impact Indian supplies.
"Saudi Arabia has assured India that they will continue to be a reliable and most dependable source of oil. Whatever quantum is needed by India, they will step in and provide that to India,” said Ausaf Saeed, India’s ambassador to Saudi while speaking with News18.
India sources almost 18 per cent of its oil requirement from Saudi Arabia, with 39.8 million metric tonne imported last year. 30 per cent of LPG also comes from Saudi Arabia. Prime Minister Modi also personally thanked King Salman for the gesture of continued oil supply despite the Aramco shock.
Both sides are also looking at diversification of their relationship beyond the traditional engagement based on oil. On Tuesday, the Strategic Partnership Council Agreement was signed that will oversee trade, investment, defence, security and people-to-people engagement. Under this agreement, the Indian Prime Minister will meet the Saudi Crown Prince every two years at the summit level.
The foreign and trade ministers will be meeting every year under this new forged partnership. Saudi Arabia has signed similar partnerships already with UK, France and China. India is the fourth country to be signing this agreement with Saudi Arabia.
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