India acquired a record 51.15 million barrels, or 1.65 million barrels each day (mbd), of petroleum from Russia making it the biggest purchaser of seaborne crude from the erstwhile Soviet Union, exceeding China for the 4th successive month.
Personal refiners Dependence Industries (RIL) and Russian state-run oil giant Rosneft– backed Nayara Energy represented around 858,000 barrels each day, or over half, of the overall imports from Russia, energy intelligence company Vortexa stated.
” India imported 1.65 mbd of Russian crude in March 2023, up from 1.58 mbd in February. India went beyond China as the biggest importer of Russian crude in December 2022, with 1.22 mbd of Russian unrefined discharging into the nation,” Serena Huang, Head of APAC Analysis at Vortexa informed businessline.
Inquired about personal refineries’ share, she stated, “In March 2023, personal refiners (Dependence and Nayara Energy) imported 52 percent of the overall Russian unrefined released into India.”
Vortexa information reveal that 70 percent of the imports from Russia were the medium sour grade Urals mix, followed by lighter blends such as Sokol (10 percent), Varandey & & ESPO (6 percent each), Arco (2 percent) and Novy Port Light & & Siberian Light (2 percent each).
India kept its imports of medium-sour Russian Urals in February and March, while raising purchases of lower sulphur grades like Sokol and Novy Port Light, Huang explained.
” The plateauing of India’s imports of medium-sour Russian Urals might suggest a soft limitation on its capability to take in more sour crude, provided its requirement to satisfy its term agreements with Mideast Gulf manufacturers. However domestic refiners do have space to increase their purchases of sweeter grades like Sokol, ESPO mix and Novy Port Light, in the interest of keeping refining runs high in lieu of the robust domestic and export need,” she discussed.
Trade sources stated that for lighter grades such as Sokol there are circumstances when the G7 rate cap of $60 per barrel is breached and Indian refiners are paying in UAE’s Dirhams and to some degree in Russian Roubles. Indian banks with little direct exposure to the United States such as the UCO Bank are likewise being utilized to pay.
Asked whether the alternate payment system to the United States dollar will continue, Vortexa’s Huang was positive.
” Yes, particularly when Russia and India are working towards a term supply of Russian crude to India, they would be eager to develop an alternate system that lowers dangers of disturbance by the West,” she included.