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We’ll meet your oil needs: Saudi Arabia

More collaboration:Narendra Modi with Ministers and experts from the oil and gas sector in New Delhi on Monday.PTI/PIB

More collaboration:Narendra Modi with Ministers and experts from the oil and gas sector in New Delhi on Monday.PTI/PIB  

Saudi Arabia stands committed to meeting all of India’s energy needs, especially in oil, its Energy Minister Khalid A. Al-Falih said on Monday.

Speaking at the India Energy Forum, he said this meant an increase in investment in India as well.

Mr. Al-Falih said Saudi Aramco’s investment of $44 billion in the Ratnagiri refinery was “just the start” and that the company was keen to invest in an integrated downstream business, including on the retail side, as well as in storage capacity.

Continuing commitment

“Earlier today, I held a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and assured them of our full and continuing commitment to meet India’s energy demands, especially in oil, and to invest in India,” Mr. Al-Falih said.

“To strengthen relations with India is a strategic priority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” he said.

According to him, the ongoing belief that the rise of electric vehicles would mean the decline of oil missed the reality of the situation.

Conventional vehicles, he said, still represented 99.8% of all vehicles in the world. Electric vehicles, he pointed out, are in the passenger vehicle segment, which accounts for only a quarter of oil demand. “The majority of oil demand comes from sectors like heavy vehicles and commercial vehicles, and this demand will remain for a long time to come,” he said.

“The oil price pain being currently felt would have been much worse if we had believed people who 4-5 years ago said that oil demand had peaked and would decline,” Mr. Al-Falih added.

“But Saudi Arabia pro-actively and responsibly invested to strengthen our spare capacity and so averted a major price shock.”

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