During his intervention at the G20 Extraordinary Energy Ministers’ video conference hosted by Saudi Arabia, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan reassured that India will continue to remain a global energy demand centre. “India was, and will continue to be, the global energy demand centre,” he said.
The meeting was called by Saudi Arabia, in its capacity as the G20 Presidency, and chaired by Saudi Arabia Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz.
The meeting was attended by Energy Ministers of G20 countries, guest countries and heads of international organisations including OPEC, IEA and IEF.
The G20 Energy Ministers’ focused on ways and means to ensure stable energy markets, which are affected due to demand reduction as result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing surplus production-related matters.
During the meeting, Pradhan reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for G20 taking a human-centric approach for overcoming challenging hardships, especially for the vulnerable. He also highlighted his government’s efforts to fill in the strategic petroleum reserves.
In terms of the ongoing energy market fluctuations, the Minister stated that India has always advocated for a stable oil market, which is reasonable for producers and affordable for consumers. He appreciated the collective efforts of OPEC and OPEC-plus countries to balance the supply-side factors which is imperative for long-term sustainability. He has, however, urged that oil prices should be targeted to affordable levels to allow for a consumption-led demand recovery.