Two sources acquainted with the discussions stated the transfer was a part of the federal government’s drive to chop dependence on crude from the Center East.
Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd are getting ready to elevate about 10.8 million barrels in Might, the sources stated on situation of anonymity.
State refiners, which management about 60% of India’s 5 million barrels per day (bpd) refining capability, collectively import a mean 14.7-14.8 million barrels of Saudi oil in a month, the sources stated.
India, the world’s third-biggest oil importer and shopper, imports greater than 80% of its oil wants and depends closely on the Center East.
Hit onerous by rising oil costs, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan has repeatedly referred to as on the Opec and its allies, often known as Opec+, to ease provide curbs.
He has blamed Saudi’s voluntary cuts for contributing to a spike in international oil costs.
Opec+ determined this month to increase most cuts into April. Responding to Pradhan’s request, Saudi vitality minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman recommended India dip into strategic reserves stuffed with cheaper oil purchased final yr.
The oil ministry responded by asking refiners to hurry up their diversification of crude sources and scale back reliance on the Center East.
Indian refiners couldn’t lower April oil imports from Saudi Arabia as nominations have been positioned earlier than the Opec+ resolution in early March, the sources stated, including that plans for Might have been preliminary and remaining Might nominations could be recognized in early April.
Saudi Arabia has lower April oil provides for some Asian refiners however has maintained common month-to-month volumes for Indian refiners. The Kingdom has, nevertheless, rejected demand from firms for further provides.
The Center East’s share of India’s total imports has already plunged to a 22-month low in February.
In February, the USA emerged because the second largest provider to India after Iraq, whereas Saudi Arabia, which has persistently been one in every of India’s prime two suppliers, slipped to No. 4 for the primary time since a minimum of January 2006.
Two Indian refiners -IOC and MRPL – have additionally issued tenders searching for oil for supply in Might.
“The oil firms take their very own resolution relating to buy of crude,” the oil ministry advised Reuters. The state refiners didn’t reply to a Reuters request for remark.