Crude imports rose 20 percent from the same time a year ago to a record 40.64 million tonnes, or 9.57 million barrels per day (bpd), according to data from the General Administration of Customs on Thursday.
Chidambaram had asked the government what price of crude had it factored in while framing the Budget and if it will raise retail prices or cut excise duty when global prices cross that level. But those efforts to increase oil-refining capacity, along with sluggish demand growth, have led to some oversupply in the market.
"An increase in USA exports is also challenging OPEC members' market share in key regions such as Asia". The production gain would be 1.26 mmbd over 2017, if realized.
USA crude futures were stronger in post-settlement trading after weekly inventory figures from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed a 1.1 million barrel decrease in overall crude oil stocks for last week.
Oil prices were also pressured by an announcement from Iran that it is looking to boost production over the next four years. Even so, adherence by producers included in the deal to curb supply rose to 138 percent from 137 percent in December, suggesting commitment is not wavering even as oil prices hit their highest level since 2014.
February Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) raises forecast crude oil prices in 2018 by almost $3 per barrel (b) compared with the previous STEO. They may draw closer in the coming months if USA producers continue to ramp up production at the current rate, which prompted the Energy Information Administration to revise upwards its forecasts for this year and next. Oil has lost 4.5 percent, while bitcoin has lost half of its value.
USA oil exports are on the rise as well.
Oil prices slid for a sixth straight day as investors continue to worry about a surge in US production and this week's selloff in equity markets.
RBC Capital Markets says global supply and demand will be impacted in April by Venezuela.
"The new world order of US production over 10 million bpd is officially here", said John Kilduff, partner at energy hedge fund Again Capital in NY. Here's to more of the same in the months and years ahead.
Terminal operators and shippers in the U.S. Gulf are ramping up investment to guard against supply bottlenecks as more barrels leave the U.S. It can take 18 to 24 months to build an export dock.
China surpassed the U.S.in annual gross crude oil imports in 2017.
Most shipping channels are too shallow. Exports of refined products fell by 449,000 barrels a day last week to 4.44 million.
On Wednesday closely followed investor Leon Cooperman said US crude could hit $70.