India has also diverted some of the state refiners' excess oil to fill the 5.03 million tonne strategic petroleum reserves (SPRs), helping companies which are struggling to find storage avoid charges for delays in offloading fresh cargo deliveries.
The companies have parked 7 million tonnes of oil in floating storage and 25 million tonnes in pipelines and storage tanks as oil prices plunged, Pradhan said on social media.
"India can meet around 20% of its domestic demand by storing low-priced priced crude oil," he said, adding that fuel demand would recover as economic activity picks up.
"Some activity picked up in rural India from April 17 and from today, activity will be stepped up in rest of the country, which will push up demand," he said.
The nationwide lockdown, among the world's strictest, is being relaxed in some areas with fewer infections, although it will last until May 17, the government said last week. The measure was adopted on March 25 and extended twice.
Indian demand for gasoil and gasoline started to recover in the second half of April.