Millennium Post

No need to panic about oil prices: Pradhan

Kolkata: Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday said there is no need to panic about oil prices owing to present tensions between Iran and the US.

"The government has taken a position to wait and watch and there is no need to panic," he said on the sidelines of a CII event here.

There are tensions in the Persian Gulf due to geo- political reasons, the Union minister said.

"There is no dearth of crude oil in the global market.

Yes, there has been some spike in oil prices, but for the last two days it is subdued," Pradhan said.

Crude oil prices rose to a three-month high of almost $72 a barrel soon after Iranian air strikes at US-Iraqi military bases, but cooled off amid speculation that Tehran is opting for limited retaliation over the killing of its top general.

Iranian strikes followed the killing of General Qassem Soleimani last week on US President Donald Trump's orders.

Tensions between the two nations have flared since the US reimposed sanctions on Iran last year over its nuclear programme.

India is heavily dependent on imports to meet its oil needs and any spike in prices of crude oil in the international market has a direct bearing on its economy.

Not just imports but even domestic crude oil is priced according to global benchmarks.

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