India's oil imports from Russia up 50 times

India's oil imports from Russia up 50 times

India's crude oil imports from Russia have gone up over 50 times since April, and now make up for 10 per cent of all crude oil purchases from overseas, a senior government official said on Thursday.

Russian oil made up for just 0.2 per cent of all oil imported by India before the Ukraine war.

Russia's oil now makes up 10 per cent of India's oil import basket in April. The official told reporters it was among the top 10 suppliers.

As much as 40 per cent of Russian oil has been bought by private refiners - Reliance Industries and Rosneft-backed Nayara Energy.

Russia overtook Saudi Arabia last month to become India's second biggest supplier of oil behind Iraq as refiners snapped up Russian crude at a deep discount after the war in Ukraine.

In May, Indian refiners bought 25 million barrels of Russian oil.

Russian-origin crude accounted for 10 per cent of India's total seaborne imports in April, rising from 0.2 per cent throughout 2021 and Q 1 of 2022.

India, the third-biggest oil-importing nation, has long defended purchases of crude oil from Russia after President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine.

The Oil Ministry stated last month that Russia's energy purchases are minuscule in comparison to India's total consumption. In May, Iraq remained the top supplier to India and Saudi Arabia is now the third biggest supplier.

India has taken advantage of the discounted prices to ramp up oil imports from Russia at a time when global energy prices have been rising.

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there are now fewer buyers for Russian Ural crude oil, with some foreign governments and companies deciding to shun Russian energy exports, and its price has fallen. Indian refiners have taken advantage of this, and bought Russian crude oil at a discount as high as USD 30 per barrel.

The crude was disadvantageous because of the high freight cost.