US to ensure oil supplies to India

Last Updated: Sat, May 11, 2019 18:28 hrs

The US on Monday assured India that it was working with countries like Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates to ensure oil supplies following imports drying up in the wake of US sanctions impacting New Delhi.

US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster made public this assurance to reporters after Trade Secretary Wilbur Ross held a meeting with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at the North Block in which India's concerns over oil supplies getting deeply impacted following the US sanctions on oil imports from Iran by other countries.

Juster, who accompanied Ross, said the US was working with other countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE to ensure adequate oil supplies to India.

On his part, Ross said "Iran is a problem if you have seen recent terrorism incidents and we should be doing whatever we can against terrorism."

To a question, he replied it was premature to talk about Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in e-commerce which he said he would discuss with Suresh Prabhu.

India was forced to stop importing crude oil from Iran May 2 after the US ended sanction waivers on countries importing oil from Teheran.

The Trump administration decided not to renew waiver that let countries like India buy Iranian oil without facing US sanctions.

New Delhi was expected to press the US government for continuation of Iranian supplies.

India was the second biggest buyer of Iranian crude oil after China. It bought some 24 million tonnes of crude oil from Iran in the fiscal ended March 31 (2018-19). Iran supplied more than a tenth of its oil needs.

The shortfall will be made from alternate supply sources available in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and Mexico.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had said "a robust plan for an adequate supply of crude oil to Indian refineries" is in place.