Indian energy minister warns of ‘organized chaos’ if oil tops $100 per barrel

Oil prices surged to their highest level in more than a year on Thursday. The U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures reached $95.03 per barrel, marking the highest cost since August 2022.

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India’s minister of petroleum and natural gas warned that there’ll be “organized chaos” if oil prices break above $100 per barrel, but said the South Asian nation is well positioned to weather higher costs. 

“If the price goes above $100, it’s not going to be in the interest of either the producing country or anyone’s interest. You will have large, organized chaos,” Hardeep Singh Puri told CNBC’s Dan Murphy during a panel at the ADIPEC oil and gas conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on Tuesday.

But “you should not be worrying about the impact on India. India’s a large economy that has a lot of domestic production. We’ll cut back, we’ll do something or the other,” Puri said.

Last week, oil prices surged to their highest levels in more than a year with U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures hitting $95.03 per barrel. Prices have since pulled back, standing at $89.44 a barrel in Wednesday morning trade in Asia.

While Puri was confident that India could navigate higher prices, he warned that other nations may not be able to do so.

“I would worry about what happens to other parts of the developing world … that is really a worrying point,” Puri said, highlighting that rising prices in the last 18 months have placed “100 million people into abject poverty.” 

“They had to go from reasonably priced gas and cooking fuels [to] wet wood, coal or whatever they could get. That is the problem.” 

Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, at the ADIPEC conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023.

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The minister said on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter, that oil producers need to be mindful of the struggles consuming countries face. 

“During the pandemic, when crude oil prices crashed, the world came together to stabilize the prices to make it sustainable for the producers. Now, as the world is at cusp of economic recession & slowdown, oil producers need to show [the] same sensitivity towards the consuming countries,” he said in a post.

India’s energy transition 



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