India presses OPEC for responsible pricing of oil

India, the world's third-biggest oil consumer, pressed OPEC to move to responsible pricing of oil and gas saying the recent spike in rates are far detached from market fundamentals and are hurting importing nations.

A combination of crude oil climbing to four-year high and rupee dipping to its lowest level against US dollar has sent retail petrol, diesel and cooking gas (LPG) rates to record high.

The relentless price rise has wiped away tax cuts done by the government to give relief to consumers.

At the annual institutional dialogue between the world's third-largest oil importer and the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan gave the cartel, which accounts for 45 per cent of the world output, a perspective of an importing country.

"(I) met OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo at the 3rd India-OPEC Energy Dialogue (and) raised the issue of surging crude prices which is hurting oil importing countries like India. I sought responsible pricing, which is in the best interests of both producers and consumers," Pradhan said.

India imports over 83 per cent of its crude oil needs. Of the crude oil imported, about 85 per cent of comes from OPEC nations.

Also, 80 per cent of gas imports come from those countries.

India believes OPEC has a major role in shaping oil prices and availability and the current high oil prices dent the economic development of many countries and threaten already fragile world economic growth.

Pradhan said he also expressed concerns on global trade practices limiting the affordability of energy.

(Agencies)