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High oil prices to impact global economic recovery, says Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri

India, the world’s third-biggest oil consumer, on Wednesday warned that high oil prices will impact global economic recovery but expressed confidence of being able to navigate through the current geopolitical crisis. Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said India is closely watching the Israel-Hamas military conflict, which has so far not impacted supply lines.

“It stands to reason that if the crude oil prices go up then that has a very strong impact and adverse impact on the attempts for a global economic recovery,” he said.

Oil prices had risen by over USD 3 per barrel on Monday following military clashes between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas but settled lower as concerns over potential supply disruptions eased.

“I think global markets will factor in all things into account,” he said on the ongoing conflict. “If the supply lines are not disrupted, hopefully, we will be able to navigate through everything.”

Brent crude was trading at USD 87.18 per barrel.

“What we are doing is watching (the situation in the Middle East) on a real-time basis, and I am confident that we as India will navigate on availability and other factors,” he added. Speaking at ENRich 2023, the 14th edition of KPMG’s flagship Innovation and Energy Conclave, Puri said the world of energy is riddled with challenges on multiple fronts – increasing population, dwindling resources, environmental degradation, rising food and energy prices. The global energy trilemma challenge – security, affordability and sustainability, needs a nuanced approach, especially taking the needs of the global south into consideration, he said.

“India’s energy demand will continue to provide fuel for future economic growth, as it grows exponentially,” he said. “India is the world’s third-largest consumer of oil, third-largest LPG consumer, fourth largest LNG importer, fourth largest refiner, fourth largest automobile market.”

India, he said, will account for 25 per cent of global energy demand growth over the next two decades.

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