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Wrong to blame India, China for high oil prices, says Murli Deora

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Setting record straight: Petroleum Minister Murli Deora addresses a ministerial session at the World Petroleum Conference in Madrid on Thursday.
Setting record straight: Petroleum Minister Murli Deora addresses a ministerial session at the World Petroleum Conference in Madrid on Thursday.

Sujay Mehdudia

“They account for less than one-eighth of the world’s consumption”

NEW DELHI: Rubbishing the Western theory that the rise in demand for oil and gas in India and China was mainly responsible for fuelling global crude prices, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora on Thursday said the two countries accounted for less than one-eighth of the world’s consumption.

With a steadily declining energy intensity, both India and China were registering rapid economic growth with a less than proportionate increase in oil demand.

Mr. Deora was reacting to persisting reports, attributed to market analysts and political commentators particularly in the United States, blaming high demand in India and China for crude prices going northwards and touching the $146-mark. The growth in consumption in India was less than in many of the heavily subsidised nations, he said addressing the Ministerial Group session at the 19th World Petroleum Congress on the theme “Energising India for Sustainable Growth” in Madrid, Spain.

“I take this opportunity to set the record straight. While China and India account for over one-third of the global population, their combined oil consumption is less than one-eighth of the world’s consumption.” Mr. Deora said, “India’s refining capacity today stands higher than our oil demand which has a sobering effect on the product prices by reducing the mismatch between product demand and supply. Given these facts, we are of the firm view that attribution of the high crude prices to rising demand from India and China is completely devoid of merit and misses the wood for the trees.”


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