Former oil minister rebuked

PTI
Published Nov 1, 2016, 1:00 am IST
Updated Nov 1, 2016, 7:14 am IST
For decades, Middle East oil producers charged up to $6 per barrel more for the oil they sold to the Asian customers like India.
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. (Photo: PTI)
 Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: Oil ‘apartheid’ that India faces at the hands of exporting nations has been flagged by successive oil ministers but the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had “reprimanded” his Petroleum Minister Murli Deora when it was raised with the industry kingpin Saudi Arabia in 2010, claims a new book.

For decades, Middle East oil producers charged up to $6 per barrel more for the oil they sold to the Asian customers like India, than what they billed the US or European refiners.

 

The so-called ‘Asian Premium’, that crept in through the differential official selling prices (OSPs) countries like Saudi Arabia set by adjusting for “regional variations”, has led to billions of dollars being paid by India with no official record of the payments, the book claims.

In the book, The Lobbyists: Untold Story of Oil, Gas and Energy Sector, senior journalist Rajeev Jayaswal says the then Oil Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar first raised the “price discrimination between Asian buyers vis-a-vis European and US refiners” at the OPEC seminar in Vienna in September 2004.

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