You are here

Blessy asked: How far has India been successful in meeting its energy requirements by improving its relationship with the Gulf countries?

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Whatsapp
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • Shebonti Ray Dadwal replies: First, India has always placed relations with the Gulf countries at a premium due to its dependence on oil sourced from this region as well as religious and other factors, such as presence of five million Indians living and working in the GCC countries. Second, of late, as part of its energy security strategy, India is following a policy of energy source diversification and is widening its source base to African and other energy-rich countries. However, the Gulf is and will remain its, as well as the world's, largest source of oil and gas. Third, the Gulf countries too are placing more importance on relations with Asian countries, notably China and India, as important future markets for the energy. It is noteworthy that the Asian countries are overtaking the Western countries as the largest consumers of energy.

    At a time when India and other Asian countries are looking for substituting a portion of their Iranian oil imports, Saudi Arabia is the only country that can provide extra barrels as it is the only Gulf country with spare capacity. It has recently signed a strategic partnership agreement with India with energy as a major area of focus. Therefore, India's rising economic profile as well as its growing energy market would be more a cause for Gulf countries to strengthen their relations with India than India seeking to improve relations with these countries.