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India and China, the traditional rivals, plan to jointly leverage their buying power to influence the crude oil pricing, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan has said.
“We are competitors. They have their own ambition, we have our own. But we have some mutual interests,” Pradhan said of China and the need for collaboration between the two countries. China and India are world’s second- and third-largest oil consumers and heavily dependent on import.
“Consumers can dictate, influence, rationalise the future price of oil,” Pradhan said after meeting the chairman of Chinese China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) in Delhi on the sidelines of International Energy Forum (IEF) Ministerial. IEF is a group of oil producing and consuming countries.
“CNPC chairman is also equally concerned about the so-called Asian premium,” Pradhan said. India has been raising its voice against the Asian premium, a practice under which Asian refiners pay a higher price for oil than their Western counterparts.
This is not the first time that India and China have spoken about leveraging their purchasing power to influence crude prices but previous efforts frittered due to uneasy relations India and China share and the keen competition they experience in business.
CNPC chairman Wang Yilin and IndianOil chairman Sanjiv Singh will be the point persons for taking forward the collaborative effort between the two countries, Pradhan said. “In principle, both CNPC and Indian companies, have agreed to work out a common solution, sit together and debate how to influence the suppliers,” Singh said.
There is a ‘multi-dimensional’ scope for cooperation between China and India in the energy sector, including in the energy technology, procurement and manufacturing, Pradhan said.
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