Venezuela’s oil minister is in New Delhi this week hoping to convince India’s key refiners to buy more of its crude and forge closer ties as the South American nation finds itself internationally isolated after the US imposed crippling sanctions on state-owned PDVSA last month.  Manuel Quevedo told reporters Monday that he is hoping to continue Venezuela’s healthy relations with India, which has now emerged as the driver of global oil demand growth.  “We have a good relationship with India and we want to continue this relationship,” Quevedo said to reporters on the sidelines of the Petrotech event in New Delhi. “[Despite current US sanctions] we will continue the trade and simply expand all the trade and relationship.”

“We are selling more than 300,000 b/d to India. We want to increase that amount. India also wants to increase the intake from us. We want to double that amount,” the Venezuelan minister added.  Quevedo, who met with India’s oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan earlier in the day, also admitted that his country’s crude production — currently at 1.57 million b/d — has already been hampered by the sanctions.  Pradhan put out a tweet saying the two “explored possibilities for Indian investments in Venezuela’s producing blocks” during the meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart.