NEW DELHI :
INDIA will release 5 million barrels of crude oil from its emergency stockpile in tandem with the US, China, Japan, and other major economies to cool international oil prices, the Government announced on Tuesday. This is the first time ever that India, which stores 5.33 million tonne or about 38 million barrels of crude oil in underground caverns at three locations on the east and west coast, is releasing stocks for such purposes. Of this, about 5 million barrels will be released. The US will release 50 million barrels of oil from its strategic petroleum reserves. India’s 5 million barrels almost equals to its daily oil consumption of 4.8 million barrels. “India strongly believes that the pricing of liquid hydrocarbons should be reasonable, responsible and be determined by market forces,” a Government statement said. “India has repeatedly expressed concern at the supply of oil being artificially adjusted below demand levels by oil-producing countries, leading to rising prices and negative attendant consequences.”
While the statement did not give the date for release, an official privy to the matter said the stock could be released as early as 7-10 days. The stocks will be sold to refineries of Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL), which are connected by pipeline to the strategic reserves. The US had last week made an unusual request to some of the world’s largest oil-consuming nations, including China, India and Japan, to consider releasing crude stockpiles in a coordinated effort to lower global energy prices.