Understanding the oil policies of Beijing and New Delhi as the main actors on the energy market of the Middle East is paramount for the main oil producing countries. By carrying out a comparative analysis of variables in the Delhi-Beijing oil policies in the Middle East, the present article will ask the question of how domestic, regional, and international variables are affecting the Chinese and Indian oil policies in this region. The authors have compared the following key variables in answer to this question: the legal structure and decision-making process, self-sufficiency levels, geopolitical position towards the Middle East, oil diplomacy, the role of technology, and the international economic-political position of the two countries.
The findings of the article show that the government in Beijing has formulated its oil policy using a single, specific decision-making body in the energy sector. It has relied on expanding multilateral ties with other countries, long-term investments, long-term loans, expanding pipelines for energy transfer, and long-term contracts to deepen its relations with oil rich countries, in particular those in West Asia. India, on the other hand, has based its diplomacy on short-term economic contracts and situation analysis and needs assessment. It is, however, clear that both countries will continue to depend on oil from the Middle East in the medium-term despite the threat of US sanctions.