New Delhi: Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday expressed hope that Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would consider the interests of its consumers before deciding to bring down the production of crude oil.

Speaking to media persons at the 84th Annual General Meeting of the Indian Sugar Mills Association, Pradhan said, ” Yesterday the Saudi Oil Minister spoke about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal for oil consuming countries before the start of the OPEC Conference.” He added, “This gives us the hope that any decision will be made keeping in mind the interests of consuming countries.”

On Thursday, OPEC agreed to tentatively cut down the oil output cut but also sought a commitment from non-OPEC producer Russia before deciding on the exact volumes to be reduced. The reduction in the crude oil production was aimed at propping up the oil prices.

India is the world’s third largest oil consumer and imports about 80 per cent to meet its energy requirements.

Ahead of the OPEC meeting in Vienna scheduled on Thursday, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Khalid al Falih reportedly said, “We’re looking for a sufficient cut to balance the market, equally distributed between countries.” Underlining that consumer is an important focus in the meeting, the Saudi Energy Minister said the main aim is to bring supply demand for crude oil in balance.

The OPEC is a grouping of 15 oil-producing nations and comprises Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Congo, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela and Qatar. They account for more than half of the world’s oil output.

(With Agency inputs)