India Set To Replace Russia As 3rd Largest Oil Refiner

India’s efforts to secure its place at the centre stage of global energy market are all set to pay a dividend, as International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted that the South Asian powerhouse will replace Russia as world’s third largest refiner by the end of 2020.
Dr Fatih Birol, the Executive Director of Paris-based autonomous intergovernmental organisation, has praised the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that the PM managed to provide a strong impetus to the Indian economy. The senior IEA official also said that although India’s current per capita oil consumption is just 1.2 barrels per year, the figure would reach 1.5 barrels per year in the next five years.
Dr Birol further welcomed steps taken by the Modi government to meet India’s energy needs. “It is not only oil. It is coal. It is solar. It is out of the strong growth in the economy and the population growth,” he stressed while speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of the internal oil and gas meet ‘CERAWeek’ in Houston on March 7.
In the presence of oil ministers of Saudi Arabia, Russia, the UAE and Canada, the IEA executive director appreciated India’s plan to develop hydrocarbon assets, saying that there was tremendous growth potential in the country. He also expressed hope that the Indian oil and energy sector would continue to grow in the coming years. Dr Birol believes that India can (even) overtake neighbouring China’s economic growth. “India overtakes China as the main driver of demand growth, as was foreseen by the IEA some time ago,” he told the audience.
Dr Birol further explained that India has gradually become the focus of attention, as Chinese demand growth slows. At the same time, he asked Indian Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan not to forget that there was “clearly still plenty of growth to come” from the South Asian nation.
For his part, Pradhan said that although Indian refineries have some of the highest utilisation rates in the world, they would start refining 860,000 barrels of oil per day by the end of 2022.
Experts opine that as India will soon replace Russia as the world’s third largest refiner, various Russian companies show interests in the Indian downstream. Recently, Rosneft has finalised the acquisition of Essar Oil – India’s second-largest private refiner.

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