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The world’s third-largest oil consumer will allow explorers to sell domestically produced crude to any refiner of their choice in the local market effective Oct. 1, junking the existing rule that requires them to sell to state refiners according to quotas fixed by the government. The marketing freedom will help explorers negotiate prices and sell to the highest bidder. The explorers, however, still do not have the permission to export crude. The move is another step by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to entice private players to explore India’s oil and gas basins to cut dependence on imported crude. Imports now account for 85% of the country’s oil demand, making India's economy highly vulnerable to swings in crude prices. Domestic oil production, which is largely dominated by state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp., declined 2.6% to 596,000 b/d in the fiscal year ended Mar. 31.

Conventional Oil and Gas, Oil Trade
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