Source: Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries – OPEC
[Joint Conclusion] The 5th High-Level Meeting of the OPEC-India Energy Dialogue was held on 29 October 2021 via videoconference. The Meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, and H.E. Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of OPEC.
The meeting focused on the impact of COVID-19 on global energy markets, and its potential ongoing implications in the coming years; the post-COVID energy recovery in India, highlighting both the opportunities and challenges; the overall energy market outlook in the medium and long terms; oil supply security issues; impact of high energy prices; and the roles of the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC), the Charter of Cooperation (CoC) and the measures being taken to maintain oil market stability.
H.E. Puri began highlighting that the year 2021 marks the fifth Anniversary of the India- OPEC Energy Dialogue. Over the years, cooperation between India and OPEC has intensified across a range of fronts, particularly on the technical level.
H.E. Puri raised the issue of energy market volatility, current high energy prices and in that context underlined the importance of seeking market stability for the benefit of producers and consumers. He also addressed the issue of price differentials between different regions.
The Honourable Minister emphasized India’s commitment to eradicate energy poverty. The core of Indian government policy is to provide equitable access to clean, affordable and sustainable energy to all Indians. He added that India would continue to develop all possible energy sources, while being fully cognizant of the sustainability dimensions of it.
The Honourable Minister noted that OPEC provides 71% of crude oil, 58% of LPG, 33% of LNG and 45% of petroleum products demand of the country.
H.E. Puri shared that India has shown great resilience in its energy system with its petroleum products demand recovered, reaching and surpassing pre-COVID-19 levels. This has been aided by India’s vaccination drive, noting that it is the largest and fastest free vaccination drive in the world and crossed the milestone of 1 billion vaccines in the previous week.
The OPEC Secretary General said that the strategic dialogue with India has many strands to it that underscored the ever-evolving nature of our cooperation. He noted that “last week I had the pleasure to partake in the India Energy Forum by CERA Week, which included a session with His Excellency, the Honourable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Our cooperation and dialogue reaches the very highest of levels.”
He also underscored that positive relationship between OPEC and the CEOs and high-level management of major Indian oil companies, the various technical meetings, the OPEC Secretariat hosting a number of interns from India, and this year’s contribution from India of a standalone chapter on the country’s energy outlook in OPEC’s World Oil Outlook 2021.
H.E. Barkindo also noted that India’s support for the producer-consumer dialogue has greatly contributed to the Organization’s success in pursuing the sustainability of the oil market in recent years, which has been on display during the unprecedented challenges as result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He stated that OPEC and the DoC countries remain proactive, flexible and vigilant in its goal of a balanced and stable market, and highlighted the importance of the regular monthly meetings. He added: “As always, we remain open, transparent and ready to engage on how we all move forward together.” In this regard, he stated that “there is no substitute to international dialogue and working together as the most effective means of acting in the best interests of consumers, producers and the global economy.”
It was noted that much has already been accomplished within the framework of the dialogue, including exchanges of knowledge and technical meetings, and OPEC looks forward to this continuing and deepening in the future. India was invited to join the Charter of Cooperation as a producer and major oil consumer, to benefit from exchanges on pertinent issues affecting the oil market.
Prior to the High-Level Meeting, experts from OPEC and India held their regular technical meeting to discuss matters of common interest and importance in the energy sphere, along with future potential activities.
The next High-Level Meeting of the OPEC-India Dialogue will be held in 2022 at the OPEC Secretariat in Vienna.