Oil prices plunge after Donald Trump’s Iran comments


File Photo of Donald Trump

File Photo of Donald Trump

Oil extended losses on Wednesday after US President Donald Trump hinted at easing tensions over Iran, with New York prices sliding 4.6 per cent.

West Texas Intermediate, already dropping before Trump spoke, sharply extended its losses to fall under USD 60 per barrel and Brent crude shed 3.7 per cent to USD 65.78 after the president said Iran appeared to be standing down after missile strikes on US troop bases in Iraq.

With global oil prices hitting three-month high on heightened US-Iran tension, India is also preparing to deal with all kinds of situations, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Wednesday, asserting that there was no crisis for the world’s third-largest energy consumer.

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

“There is no crisis,”Dharmendra Pradhan told reporters. “We are preparing to deal with all kinds of situations”.

India is 84 per cent dependant on imports to meet its oil needs and any spike in global prices has a direct bearing on its economy. Not just imports but even domestic crude oil — which forms the raw material for making petrol, diesel and other petroleum products — is priced according to international benchmarks.

The Middle East accounts for more than two-thirds of the country’s oil imports, with Iraq and Saudi Arabia being the top suppliers.

Dharmendra Pradhan said Foreign Minister S Jaishankar has spoken to his counterparts in major oil supplying nations and conveyed India’s concerns over the geopolitical situation since last week.