New Delhi– The government on Friday expressed confidence that whatever decision the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) takes on output cuts to check the fall in crude prices, it would not go against the interests of consuming nations.

Speaking to reporters here on the sidelines of the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) AGM, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan drew attention to the Saudi Petroleum Minister Khalid Al Falih’s observations on Thursday at the OPEC meeting in Vienna, about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s views in this regard.

“Yesterday (Thursday) the Saudi Arabian Petroleum Minister mentioned about the view Prime Minister Narendra Modi has articulated before the OPEC meeting…by virtue of our consumer status he has become the leading voice of consuming nations,” Pradhan said.

“The Prime Minister has said that he is hopeful that OPEC countries take care that whatever they decide will not go against the interests of consuming countries…the Saudi Minister’s remarks seem to indicate this,” he added.

Al Falih told reporters in Vienna that OPEC will seriously consider views of world leaders like Modi, who represent the voice of major consuming nations, before taking a decision on cutting output.

“We take the views of Prime Minister Narendra Modi seriously who is equally vocal about the issue. We just met him in Buenos Aires (G20 summit) and privately he made those points very very strongly that he does care for Indian consumers and is very serious about it.

“I have also seen him at three times at various energy events in India where he was very vocal,” Al Falih said.

Consuming nations are part of OPEC deliberations even when they are not physically present in the meeting, he added.

OPEC Ministers concluded their meeting on Thursday without deciding on production cuts, and are meeting with non-OPEC producers on Friday in Vienna to take a final decision on output figures.

UK Brent crude has fallen sharply and is currently trading at under $60 per barrel, from the levels of $85 in October. (IANS)