‘Watching closely and navigate through this’, says Puri as oil prices surge amid Israel-Hamas war

New Delhi, (UNI) Stating that India is closely watching the Israel-Hamas war and its impact on energy prices, Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday said that India will navigate through this.

Speaking to media on the sidelines of Energy Technology Meet here, the Minister said that such situations encourage people to shift to cleaner and sustainable sources of energy.

:…So far as energy is concerned, let’s be absolutely clear that the place (Israel-Palestine) where the action is taking place is in many respects the centre of the global energy industry. So, we will watch very carefully and I think as we go along we will navigate our ways through this,” Puri said.

“These kinds of uncertainties only encourage people to move to sustainable, cleaner fuels and I cited Global Biofuel Alliance as an example,” he further said.

Puri expressed confidence that India will handle the ongoing situation with maturity.

Amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, global crude oil prices have shown an uptrend. Many experts see the conflict leading to a surge in energy prices which could stoke inflation.

The WTI crude futures climbed nearly 5% to reach above $85 per barrel today even as it recouped some losses from last week after a surprise attack by terror outfit Hamas on Israel over the weekend. While the conflict has so far been limited to parts of Israel and Gaza, any involvement of other countries in the Middle East region could further escalate the geopolitical tensions.

“While the violence is contained in the region for now, analysts fear that geopolitical tensions could escalate globally amid reports that Iran was involved in planning the attacks. We believe that the surge in crude oil price is likely to be temporary as neither Israel nor Palestine is a major oil supplier and, so far, the conflict has not directly threatened any major oil production or supply facilities.

However, if this war prolongs for a longer period then it might affect crude oil price in the short term because the conflict is geographically close to major oil-producing and exporting nations,” said Rahul Kalantri, VP Commodities, Mehta Equities Ltd.

India meets bulk of its energy needs from imports. It is the world’s third-largest crude importer after China and the US, and hence any surge in global crude oil price could adversely affect its fiscal maths.

In his address at the Energy Technology Meet, Union Minister Puri said that India is the world’s third largest consumer of oil, third largest LPG consumer, fourth largest LNG importer, fourth largest refiner and fourth largest automobile market.

“India is likely to account for 25% of global energy demand growth over the next two decades,” he said.

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