The government had organized a meeting of the representatives of refineries recently and they seemed interested in the idea of jointly working on oil import, Puri said, adding that even private refiners have been enthusiastic about it.
The minister didn’t give details but cited some examples to illustrate how negotiating in a group, or placing bulk orders, brought down prices and made things easier for buyers.
India is the world’s third-largest consumer and importer of crude oil. It depends on imports for 85% of its oil consumption.
India wants to combine the buying power of its refiners to extract better terms from suppliers. It wants the flexibility of supplies as well as payment terms.
A group of oil-producing nations, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, dominate the market today with their artificial supply curbs contributing to the recent price spike. Higher prices in recent months have troubled Indian consumers as petrol and diesel prices have reached record levels.