Russia offers oil to India at $35 per barrel: Report
Sanctions-hit Russia has offered oil to India at a discounted price of $35 per barrel, according to a report on Thursday (March 31).
Russia is offering its flagship Urals grade to India at pre-war price to lure India to lift more shipments, according to people with knowledge of the matter, Bloomberg reported.
It is now more than one month since Russia invaded Ukraine. Amid the ongoing war, Russia has been hit by sanctions from western countries.
Urals crude has been trading at discounts since the war began. Russia wants India to take 15 million barrels contracted for this year just to begin with, they said, adding the talks are taking place at government level, the report added.
On March 11, Russia had said, “Russia’s oil and petroleum product exports to India have approached $1 billion, and there are clear opportunities to increase this figure.”
“We are interested in further attracting Indian investment to the Russian oil and gas sector and expanding Russian companies’ sales networks in India,” Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said in a statement after a phone call with Petroleum Minister Hardeep Puri.
Last week, Puri said in the Rajya Sabha that India buying more volumes of crude oil from Russia is still less than 1 per cent of the total oil imports. He stated that oil imports from Russia are “minuscule”.
Puri said India bought 419,000 tonnes of crude oil from Russia during the first 10 months of the current fiscal year that began in April 2020, which was 0.2 per cent of the total import of 175.9 million tonnes.
In 2020-21, India imported 633,000 tonnes of 0.3 per cent while in 2019-20 the purchases were 2.93 million tonnes or 1.3 per cent of total imports, he said.
According to reports, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has bought 3 million barrels through a trader from Russia and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) has picked up 2 million barrels.
“We require a total of 5 million barrels per day. That is our (crude oil) consumption. 60 per cent of it comes from the Gulf. Even if we were to scale these up considerably, it would still be a drop, literally a drop, in a larger bucket,” Puri said.
(With inputs from PTI)