New Delhi: India on Sunday pressed oil cartel OPEC to adopt "responsible pricing" for oil and consider the world's third-biggest oil consumer as its preferred sales destination.
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan met OPEC Secretary General Sanusi Mohammad Barkindo to discuss "the current scenario of oil and gas industry of the world and exchanged notes on the recent developments", an official statement stated here.
During the meeting, Pradhan highlighted that in Sunday's oversupplied market, it is important for producers to understand the perspective of consuming countries and the changes that have taken place in these demand centres.
Barkindo is in India to attend the first CERAWEEK India Energy Forum. The two had last met in Vienna in May 2017 for the 2nd India-OPEC Institutional Dialogue.
"Pradhan reiterated that the OPEC should work towards 'responsible pricing', which is important for India for socio-economic and developmental reasons," the statement said.
Reiterating the decade-old India's view that the OPEC should consider giving 'Asian Dividend' rather than charging 'Asian Premium' on the crude supplied to India, he said countries like India should actually be the "preferred destination".
India sources about 86 per cent of crude oil, 75 per cent of natural gas and 95 per cent of LPG from OPEC member countries.
The OPEC stands for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
The minister emphasised on the need for a purposeful and improved dialogue among producer and consumer countries.
He suggested that the OPEC at its ministerial meetings give wider consideration to India's requests.
According to Pradhan, India is putting a lot of emphasis on diversifying its crude oil supply sources and tapping new supply sources.
In this context, he highlighted the arrival of two shipments of crude oil cargo of 1.6 million barrels from the US.
Three Indian public sector refineries have already placed a cumulative order of 7.85 million barrel from the US. In addition, a private refiner has placed an order of 2 million barrel from the western nation.
The minister was accompanied by senior officials from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and also CEOs of seven public and private refineries who together operate all 23 refineries in India processing over 235 million tonnes of crude annually.
The minister extended invitation to the OPEC secretary general to attend the 16th Ministerial Meeting of International Energy Forum scheduled to take place in India in April 2018.
The secretary general accepted the invitation, the statement said.