Oil refiners on the margin amid rising crude prices, muted demand

When Saudi Arabia announced a crude oil production cut on January 5, it took the world of petroleum by surprise and created a degree of frustration for India. Starting February and then March, the Saudi Kingdom will cut production by one million barrels a day, though the overall production levels of OPEC+ (OPEC plus Russia) will be unchanged.

The West Asian producer is among the country’s top three crude oil suppliers. Over the years, as India sought to reduce its dependence on Iran for crude oil owing to geopolitical pressures, it was Saudi Arabia to which it turned to fill the …