The US government will not ensure sale of its oil to India at cheaper rates as the commodity is controlled by private companies, US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said on Monday.
Mr Ross is in India to participate in a trade forum.
The latest US sanctions against Iran has barred Asian buyers, including India, from importing oil from Tehran. Iran was shipping oil to India at discounted rates.
"Oil is owned by private people so the government cannot force people to make concessionary prices," Mr Ross said, when asked if the United States is considering selling oil to India at a concessional rates to make for loss of Iranian barrels.
Earlier, news agency ANI had reported that US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster had assured India that the US was working with countries like Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates to ensure oil supplies following imports drying up in the wake of sanctions impacting New Delhi.
Mr Juster made public this assurance to reporters after Mr Ross held a meeting with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at the North Block in which India's concerns over oil supplies getting deeply impacted following the US sanctions on oil imports from Iran by other countries, ANI reported.
Mr Juster, who accompanied the Trade Secretary, said the US was working with other countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE to ensure adequate oil supplies to India.
India was forced to stop importing crude oil from Iran May 2 after the US ended sanction waivers on countries importing oil from Tehran.
The Trump administration decided not to renew waiver that let countries like India buy Iranian oil without facing US sanctions.
New Delhi was expected to press the US government for continuation of Iranian supplies.
India was the second biggest buyer of Iranian crude oil after China. It bought some 24 million tonnes of crude oil from Iran in the fiscal ended March 31 (2018-19). Iran supplied more than a tenth of its oil needs.
The shortfall will be made from alternate supply sources available in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and Mexico.
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had said "a robust plan for an adequate supply of crude oil to Indian refineries" is in place.
(With inputs from Reuters and ANI)
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