Indian oil minister Hardeep Singh Puri. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Indian oil minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday said he had “outstanding” discussions with UAE counterparts on oil prices.

UAE, a member of OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries), accounts for a major part of India’s total crude oil imports. A near doubling of oil prices to over $80 a barrel over the last 12 months is threatening to upend India’s economic recovery.

“I’ve had a bilateral meeting with two ministers from the UAE - we have ongoing discussions, and I can just characterize that as a very strong and outcome-based consultative process,” said Puri, in response to a Gulf News query, during a media briefing at Expo 2020.

Puri said OPEC and its allies, collectively known as OPEC+, could take advantage of high prices for a while. “In the process if you undermine economic recovery, that will rebound and haunt you in other things (sectors)”

“This is not a case of supplies not being available – there are 5 million barrels a day of (oil) supplies which have not been released for whatever reason,” said Puri.

Investments lined up

Puri said natural gas will become a greater part of India’s energy mix, from 6 per cent to 15 per cent. “We expect investments of about $60 billion on that,” said Puri.

He added that India and Gulf countries could form partnerships in the domain of ‘green’ energy as well. “I can see scope for partnership with the countries of the GCC region, as we do in fossil fuels”

Growing economy

“We are going from a nearly $3 trillion economy trillion-dollar economy to a $5 trillion economy in 2025 and $10 trillion economy in 2030,” said Puri.

UAE is expected to play a big role in meeting India’s growing energy demand.

“We imported about $14 billion of energy products from them (UAE), but it’s a two-way traffic, many Indian oil companies are also investing in assets here - It’s investments in both directions,” said Puri.