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Tom Kirkman

India - U.S. oil contracts seem likely, despite other trade deal hiccups

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Some of my usual morning news searches are for "oil" and "Trump oil" to see what the media are saying today.  I would estimate that on DuckDuckGo news searches, at least 75% of news about oil (and gas) is negative news (oil is eeeeevil) and 99% of news about Trump + oil is negative (ZOMG Orange Man Bad + oil is MEGA eeeeeeevil).  Maybe a few times a month I also use Google to search, but the negativity is even worse.

Sometimes a positive story slips through the cracks.  Here's one from today:


India-US trade deal yet to shape up even as oil contracts appear likely

New Delhi is expected to agree to buy more oil and gas to bridge trade gap

The proposed India-US trade deal seems to hang in the balance a week before the scheduled visit of US President Donald Trump. While critical issues are still not quite ironed out, the sealing of some contracts on crude oil and natural gas sourcing seems on the cards, said officials.

Trump and his wife Melania will pay a state visit to India on February 24-25.

“Contentious issues such as market access for a number of agriculture products, dairy items and medical equipment have still not been ironed out. So, an ambitious trade deal between the two countries seems unlikely with just a little more than a week left for the visit,” a government official told BusinessLine.

Energy contracts
India and the US, however, are likely to sign a few crude oil and natural gas sourcing contracts. Energy sourcing from the US may not be the cheapest option for India but will help trim the trade imbalance between the two countries, which is now in India’s favour.

A deal between Tellurian Inc and Petronet LNG Ltd is also likely to see more progress with the significant terms of the deal, such as price of gas import, being finalised, the official said. Further, the two countries are expected to enhance ties under the US-India Strategic Energy Partnership.

Ever since he came to power, Trump has been accusing India of not providing enough market access to American companies, although India’s trade surplus with the US is minuscule when compared to China’s.

America’s trade deficit with India declined significantly from more than $22 billion in 2016-17 to around $17 billion in 2018-19 as India started buying oil and gas from the US in 2017. In 2018-19, India’s crude oil import from the US stood at $3.6 billion, while LNG import was at $527.14 million.  ...


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