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India expects more oil exports from Iran and Venezuela under Biden

India expects more oil exports from Iran and Venezuela under Biden

India hopes that the administration of US President Joe Biden will take a softer line against adversaries Iran and Venezuela, allowing the world's third-largest oil importer to diversify its sources of crude.

The country would be happy if the number of oil-producing countries increases, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in an interview on Bloomberg TV, reiterating the comments he made last month. "There are some geopolitical changes," he said. "Let's hope how things develop."

South Asia's economy relies heavily on energy imports and its refineries struggled to cope with aggressive White House foreign policy in recent years that restricted access to Iranian and Venezuelan oil. Pradhan also expressed his exasperation with Saudi Arabia, after the de facto leader of OPEC announced unilateral production cuts in response to the resurgence of Covid-19.

The sudden change in production policy has made economic planning difficult and will add to inflation, he said. “We never expect low oil prices. But it shouldn't be a knee-jerk reaction. "

India halted imports from Iran, previously its third-largest oil supplier, in mid-2019 after the expiration of US sanctions waivers. It bought 7.65 million tons of Venezuelan crude from January to October last year, compared to 15.9 million tons in 2019. Iran has pledged to increase its oil exports, and shipments to China almost doubled on last month compared to November.

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