Union oil Minister M Veerappa Moily informed reporters that the central government was upgrading oil diplomacy with West Asian nations and that India would talk to Iran in this regard. He said this ahead of his two-day visit to Bagdhad from July 8.
During the visit, the minister would discuss India's oil needs with the West Asian nation. Moily clarified that it was not a follow up of the two-day visit by Union minister for external affairs Salman Khurshid to the Iraqi capital.
Iraq, currently second largest crude oil supplier to India has assured to provide as much oil as it could to fulfil needs of the growing Indian economy.
Iraq replaced sanctions-hit Iran as India's second largest crude oil supplier in recent months. Indian oil refineries purchased nearly 20 per cent of Iraq's crude oil production last year.
Incidentally, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari had said his country was willing to assist, to provide or to meet as much as it could (to fulfil) the needs of Indian economy.
Iraq produces 3.15 million barrels a day of crude and plans to double the output by 2020. Pointing out that Iraq has the world's third largest proven oil reserves and is now second largest oil supplier to India; Zebari said Iraqi potentials are huge in the coming decades.