New Delhi: Private Indian refiners such as Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries and Russian state-run oil giant Rosneft-backed Nayara Energy accounted for almost 46% of the total Indian crude imports from Russia in April, according to data shared by energy intelligence firm Vortexa with Hindu Business Line.
They imported 524,000 barrels per day of Ural grade, followed by 123,000 b/d of ESPO, 67,000 b/d of Varandey, and 35,000 b/d of Arco in April.
For the fifth consecutive month in April, India remained the largest buyer of seaborne Russian crude oil, with inbound shipments growing to 1.63 million barrels per day. India became Russia’s largest buyer of seaborne crude in December last year, with imports of around 1.22 mb/d. Since then, inbound shipments have been more than 1.22 mb/d every month, said the newspaper.
The discounted Russian oil has helped India meet the growing demand for petroleum products, with 222.30 million tonnes of petroleum products consumed in FY23, 10.2% higher than the year before. However, the government has not passed the benefits of cheap crude prices to the consumer as pump prices have remained unchanged since April 2022.
Mint reports that the steep discounts enjoyed by India on Russian crude oil through most of FY23 have plunged in April. India was earlier able to secure discounts of as much as $15-20 a barrel from Russia on delivered-at-place basis but this has since fallen below $10 and has touched even $5, the newspaper reported, citing two government officials aware of the development.
This comes in the backdrop of a $60 per barrel price cap imposed by a US-led global initiative along with G7 countries, the European Union and Australia that was to be revised in March. Meanwhile, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) plus grouping, including Russia, has announced an additional 1.16 million barrels per day of supply cut that takes effect next month.
India’s import of crude oil and petroleum products rose 29.5% to $209.57 billion in FY23. It is dependent on imports for as much as 87% of its oil needs and 55% of its natural gas demand.