Pradhan walks out on Saudi energy minister

Vol 22, PW 1 (18 Oct 18) News in Brief

Maybe he was highly offended or maybe he had other business to deal with.

Whatever the reason, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan raised eyebrows when he broke protocol and walked out during a panel discussion between Saudi Arabia's energy minister Khalid A. Al-Falih and Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of IHS Markit, which organised the India Energy Forum by CERAWeek in Delhi from October 14 to 16 at the Taj hotel in Delhi.

Speculation is rife Pradhan was incensed because Falih repeated the metaphor of "not killing the goose that lays the golden eggs" which Narendra Modi used during their meeting that same day (October 15). Modi stressed India as one of the largest buyers of crude oil from Saudi Arabia should be valued.

But Falih re-framed the metaphor, saying Saudia Arabia is "the goose" because it provides a cushion to the world economy by pumping out more oil when required and should be "respected." Oil secretary MM Kutty followed Pradhan's lead and walked out. Pradhan skipped lunch arranged by IHS Markit and ate in the Taj coffee shop.