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India Claims Not To Be Overly Dependent On Russian Crude Oil

India does not depend too much for its oil imports on any supplier, not even Russia, Indian Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Singh Puri has told CNBC in a recent interview.

India, the world’s third-largest crude importer, buys from abroad more than 80% of the crude oil it consumes. Over the past year and a half, the country has significantly raised its imports of cheaper Russian crude oil, which is banned in the West.

“India doesn’t get over dependent on anyone,” Singh Puri told CNBC when asked about his view on whether the country has leaned too much on Russia for its crude needs.

India gets discounts for Russian oil, but it gets discounts from other producers, too, he added.

“If there’s a 30% discount, the Russians are putting a ribbon around it and sending it to us free. That’s what it means,” the minister told CNBC.

“But there have been discounts coming from all over,” he added.

India sees its oil supplier base as diversified as it is buying crude from 39 sources at present, compared to 27 sources previously, Singh Puri said.

Russia has been India’s top crude oil supplier for months now and overtook Iraq as the top supplier for the 2022/2023 fiscal year ended March 2023. Russia accounted for nearly a fourth of India’s crude oil imports in 2022/2023 as the world’s third-largest crude importer welcomed on average 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) of Russian crude out of a total of 4.65 million bpd of imports.

In the new 2023/2024 fiscal year, shipments of Russian crude to India have hit record highs and have remained strong. Record imports of cheap Russian crude into India have undermined OPEC’s share of supply so much that OPEC’s share of all Indian oil imports hit the lowest in at least 22 years.

In July, India’s imports from Russia slipped amid an overall 5.2% decline in total imports, due to some refiners closed for maintenance during the monsoon season, when India’s demand is typically lower, according to Reuters estimates of data from trade and industry sources.

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on August 25 2023 said:
    Claims that India isn’t overly dependent on Russian crude oil imports and that Russia offers discounts of 30% are absolutely nonsense.

    Indian imports of Russian crude oil averaged 1.6 million barrels a day (mbd) during the last year and a half or 34.4% of total imports. However, in July this year, Indian imports of Russian crude topped 2.26 mbd or 48.6% of imports.

    Moreover, Russia never ever offered a 30% discount to any of its customers. The maximum discount offered is $4.0-$6.0 a barrel below international prices.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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