G20 Energy Ministers Meeting: India calls for stable oil market with affordable prices
The main focus of the G20 Energy Ministers was on the ways and means to ensure stable energy markets.
The G20 Extraordinary Energy Ministers’ Meeting was held on April 10, 2020 through video conferencing. The meeting was called by Saudi Arabia, the current G20 chair, and it was chaired by Saudi Arabia Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz.
Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan had participated in the G20 Extraordinary Energy Ministers’ virtual meeting on India’s behalf. The Energy Ministers of other G20 nations, guest countries and heads of international organizations such as IEA, OPEC and IEF were also present during the virtual meeting.
The main focus of the G20 Energy Ministers was on the ways and means to ensure stable energy markets, which have been affected due to decrease in demand as a result of COVID-19 pandemic. They were also focussed on the ongoing surplus production-relatedd matters.
The meeting was held to foster global dialogue and cooperation to ensure stable energy markets and enable a stronger global economy.
India’s statement at G20
• Union Energy Minister Dharmendra Pradhan reiterated PM Narendra Modi’s call to G20 to take a human-centric approach to overcome the current hardships, especially for the most vulnerable population.
• The Minister highlighted the decision of PM Modi to provide free LPG cylinders to over 80.3 million poor families under the Ujjwala scheme as a part of the 23 billion dollars relief package.
• The Minister emphasized that India is, was and will continue to be the global energy demand centre. He also highlighted the Indian government’s efforts to fill its Strategic Petroleum Reserves.
• On the ongoing energy market fluctuations, the Minister said that India has always called for a stable oil market that is not only reasonable for the producers but also affordable for consumers.
• He further appreciated the collective efforts of the OPEC countries to balance the supply-side factors that are imperative for long-term sustainability.
• The Minister has, however, urged that oil prices should be kept at affordable levels to allow for a consumption-led demand recovery.
The G20 Extraordinary Energy Ministers’ meeting will be adopting a Joint Statement, which proposes to set up a task force to advise all the G20 Energy Ministers on the next steps and agreed to remain engaged in the coming days in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
The G20 ground had called for the extraordinary energy ministers' meeting to discuss OPEC-led plans for the global crude oil production cut accord. This is the first time that the G20 group specifically convened to address energy issues. Saudi Arabia, which is OPEC's largest oil producer holds the G20's rotating presidency for this year.
The meeting comes amid major fall in global oil demand as more than a quarter of countries across the world have imposed complete lockdowns, grounded aircraft, taken vehicles off roads and shut down factories to combat novel coronavirus outbreak.