Crude at $45 to $50 a barrel is enough to encourage India’s own exploration without squeezing fuel consumers, according to the oil minister of the world’s fourth-largest user. While the collapse in prices has created a buyers’ market and boosted India’s bargaining power amid an oversupply, low crude is “challenging” for the nation’s own oil fields, Dharmendra Pradhan said in an interview in New Delhi on Monday. The government’s priority is to protect the interest of consumers and simultaneously attract investments in domestic production activity, he said. “Pricing affects the Indian market in both ways, because India meets 30 percent of its own capacity from its own oilfields,” Pradhan said. “Around $45-$50 is a very reasonable price where the exploration and production activities will not be affected and also will not pinch the common consumers in India.” Oil is trading near $40 a barrel, more than 50 percent lower […]