India's deal for US crude: Will that mean a bolder strategic approach to the Middle East?
Jul 13: Production cuts by Saudi Arabia and others, as part of an OPEC deal, have allowed Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) to strike a deal for importing US crude. 8This is going to set a precedent of sorts, and the Gulf countries face the prospect of a market share loss. 8With low prices and abundant supplies, India is asserting its position as a big buyer in the global market. 8"Gone are the days of the seller, now the consumer is the king," petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan said recently. 8His pronouncement is perhaps a little premature as 86% of India's crude oil comes from the Gulf but the possibility of competitive cargoes sourced from outside the region comes as a relief both for the oil companies and the geo-strategists in India. 8A lot of our strategic thinking in the Middle East is tied to our energy dependency and if that can be brought down, it gives India more room to maneuver. 8The Prime Minister's visit to Israel is perhaps an indication of a bolder strategic approach to the entire region. Click on Reports for more