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International relations

India leads regional charge to end OPEC's 'Asian premium'

New Delhi looks to form buyers’ alliance with China, Japan and South Korea

A storage tank at an Oil and Natural Gas Corp. facility on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, India. The country imports more than 80% of its oil.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- Contending with soaring crude prices, India is seeking to form an alliance of leading Asian oil importers to pressure OPEC into dropping the premium it charges countries in the region.

India, which imports more than 80% of its oil, is holding discussions with China, Japan and South Korea on the possibility of creating a buyers' forum that would negotiate better terms -- an "Asian dividend" -- with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. New Delhi says the cartel gives preferential terms to the U.S. and European nations.

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