The Indian government says it will increase its crude oil purchases from oil-producing countries in Africa to meet its growing energy needs.
Reuters reports that Dharmendra Pradhan, India’s oil minister, was speaking at an industry summit on Wednesday.
India, the world’s third-biggest oil importer, asked state refiners to increase the diversification of oil imports in order to reduce dependence on the Middle East.
This development comes after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies agreed to extend most oil output cuts into April.
“As India seeks to further diversify sourcing of crude oil and LNG, Africa has a central role – largely due to its proximity and absence of any choke points in trans-shipments,” Pradhan said.
“Therefore, we would naturally be seeking commercial partners in Africa to meet India’s growing energy needs through imports of crude oil, LNG and other petroleum and energy products.”
The minister said India received about 15 percent or 34 million tonnes of crude oil from Africa in 2020.
The country buys oil from Nigeria, Angola, Algeria, Egypt and Equatorial Guinea.
Pradhan said India has also bought crude oil from Cameroon, Chad, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire in recent years.
The country’s importation of gas from African countries has also been on the rise.