NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday warned oil producers like Saudi Arabia that higher crude prices are hurting global economic growth and they should do more to bring down rates to reasonable levels.
At the third annual brainstorming meeting with chief executives of top global and Indian oil and gas companies, Modi flagged concerns of consuming nations like India over high crude oil prices that have already sent retail petrol, diesel and LPG rates to record highs, sources with direct knowledge of the development said.
With Saudi oil minister Khalid A Al-Falih listening, the prime minister said crude oil prices at a four-year high was hurting global growth, causing inflation and upsetting budgets of developing countries like India.
Modi also asked chief executives why no new investments in oil and gas exploration and production are coming to India despite the government implementing all the suggestions they made at the previous such meeting, sources said.
Later speaking at the the India Energy Forum, the Saudi oil minister said Modi at the meeting raised issue of “consumer pain” from high crude oil prices.
“We heard it today loud and clear from prime minister (about consumer pain),” Al-Falih said.
He, however, said the “pain” would have been “much louder” but the action by Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter of oil, to invest in creating spare capacity has used to cushion price shocks.
“Prime minister cautioned producers like myself not to kill hen that lays golden egg, he said referring to consumers are the golden hen,” Al-Falih added.
Speaking at the same conference, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said India is “facing severe headwinds from rising oil prices” which have risen by 50 per cent in dollar terms and 70 per cent in rupee term in last one year.
The meeting, which was also attended by finance minister Arun Jaitley and Niti Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar, was called to discuss emerging energy scenario particularly ripples from US sanctions on Iran and volatile oil prices threatening growth.
The third annual meeting also deliberated on ways to revive investment in oil and gas exploration and production, sources said.