Jan 9, 2009

Business - India;India oil strike talks break down - IOC

Talks to end an oil workers strike that has triggered fuel shortages across India ended without an agreement early Friday, the head of the country's largest state-run refiner and marketer said.

"Some discussion took place, but we could not reach any conclusion," Chairman of India Oil Corp S. Behruia told reporters after a two hour meeting between India Oil Minister Murli Deora and representatives of the oil workers.

"But the door is open for further discussions," he said.

Petrol stations ran dry and flights were delayed at India's busiest airport as the strike by state oil company officials demanding better pay entered a third day.

State-run firms dominate India's energy sector, controlling almost the entire supply of transport fuels, natural gas and domestic crude oil.

The president of the Oil Sector Officials Association, Amit Kumar, said Friday that the "talks are inconclusive but the action is on. The (Oil Minister) has said he will apprise the prime minister of our demands."

About 30 percent of gasoline stations in the capital, New Delhi, had run out of fuel, Petroleum Secretary R.S. Pandey said Thursday, while oil firms said there would be graver shortages if the strike continued.

Pandey said about 100 fuel stations in Mumbai, the financial hub, were not functioning, while officials at Mumbai airport said dozens of flights were delayed due to the strike.

No comments: