The US will not offer oil to India at cheaper rates in the wake of the disruption in supply caused by Washington withdrawing the waiver that allowed India to buy oil from Iran.
However, Washington is trying to persuade Saudi Arabia and the UAE to ensure adequate supply to India.
“Oil is owned by private people so the government cannot force people to make concessionary prices,” US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said here when asked if the US was considering selling oil to India at concessional rates to make up for the loss of Iranian barrels.
Ross on Monday held meetings with commerce minister Suresh Prabhu and finance minister Arun Jaitley.
The US is working with other countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE to ensure adequate oil for India, US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster told reporters. He was accompanying Ross in the meeting with Jaitley.
Prabhu and Ross discussed contentious trade issues including rule changes in e-commerce, data localisation, steel tariff, duties on mobiles and information technology products.
New Delhi has expressed its concern over oil supplies getting impacted following the US sanctions on oil from Iran. The country has been forced to stop importing Iranian from this month.
“Iran is a problem if you have seen recent terrorism incidents and we should be doing whatever we can against terrorism,” Ross said.
He said the US government would not ensure the sale of its oil to India at cheaper rates as the commodity was controlled by private companies.
The country’s dependence on imported oil has risen sharply to 83.7 per cent of imports from 77 per cent in 2013-14, way off the target to bring the dependence down to 67 per cent by 2022.
London: Oil prices fell on Monday after US President Donald Trump said he would sharply raise tariffs on Chinese goods this week, risking the derailment of trade talks between the world’s two biggest economies.
US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $61.68 per barrel at 1338 GMT, down 26 cents. WTI hit $60.04 earlier in the session, its lowest since March 29. Brent crude futures were broadly steady at $70.88 per barrel, having earlier hit its lowest since April 2 at $68.79. Reuters