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India wants to diversify its oil imports, including the resumption of supplies from Iran and Venezuela, after US President-elect Joe Biden takes office, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Wednesday.

India was the key buyer of Iranian and Venezuelan oil before slashing purchases after President Donald Trump imposed unilateral sanctions on the two OPEC members since taking office in 2017.

India wants to diversify its oil imports, including the resumption of supplies from Iran and Venezuela, after US President-elect Joe Biden takes office, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Wednesday.

India was the key buyer of Iranian and Venezuelan oil before slashing purchases after President Donald Trump imposed unilateral sanctions on the two OPEC members since taking office in 2017.Biden, who was vice president under President Barack Obama when the 2015 nuclear accord was struck between Iran and six world powers, has said he wants to offer Tehran a path back to diplomacy.

 

India, the world’s third biggest oil importer and consumer, wants to diversify its oil imports to buy cheaper oil to cut its import bill and save foreign exchange.

Sanctions on Iran and Venezuela have blocked up to three million barrels per day (bpd), or three percent of world supply.

India’s Nayara Energy, part owned by Russian oil major Rosneft, stopped imports from Venezuela in June this year, while its Reliance Industries had obtained permission until October from the US to continue oil imports in exchange for diesel.

Pradhan, however, said there is a strong bond between India and the United States. “Both depend on each other. Our relations are sound, grounded.”

He also urged oil producers to work towards more reasonable and responsible pricing to help Asian buyers.

“Gone are days of monopoly. Oil Producers have to recognise aspirations of consumers,” Pradhan said.

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