Dharmendra Pradhan speaks to US Energy Secretary on slump in fuel demand due to Covid-19

NEW DELHI: Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday spoke to US Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette on the volatility in international oil markets and the slump in demand following Covid-19 pandemic.

Since the outbreak of coronavirus, countries across the globe have placed restrictions and announced lockdowns, which have shut businesses and stopped both air as well as road travel. India too announced a 21-day lockdown from March 25 which has led to slump in fuel demand.

“Interacted with US Energy Secretary @SecBrouillette through video conferencing. Expressed my deepest condolences, and concern, regarding the COVID-19 situation globally, and more specifically in the US,” Pradhan tweeted.

“We had discussions about demand reduction due to Covid-19 response globally and volatility of the oil markets, which are of concern to both the countries. We both will work towards a more stable oil market, and agreed to remain in contact,” he added.

India’s petrol sales have fallen 15.5 per cent in March, while diesel sale has slumped 24.2 per cent. Asia’s third biggest economy has also seen jet fuel demand fall by 31 per cent in March.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed a 21-day lockdown that will end on April 14 in a bid to stave off the epidemic. Even before the lockdown was announced, states had shut schools, universities, shopping malls and other public gatherings and restricted air travel to control the spread of the virus.

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