Indian media reports, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd has signed a deal with a Russian oil company to import 3 million barrels of crude.
The sources added it’s a company-to-company deal.
While Western countries have imposed sanctions, including the United States’ oil import embargo, on Russia in response to Moscow’s attack on Ukraine, there are no restrictions on Indian oil companies for buying crude oil from Russian oil companies.
Government sources had said yesterday, India’s legitimate energy transactions should not be politicised, and countries self-sufficient in oil or those themselves importing from Russia cannot credibly advocate restrictive trading.
This drew a response from the US, which said India importing discounted crude oil from Russia wouldn’t amount to a violation of sanctions; it would imply supporting the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
According to sources today, the crude oil import deal with the Russian oil company is on the best terms and conditions currently available to India in the international market.
The sources added that there are no restrictions on Indian oil firms in buying crude from Russian companies.
As the US and other western nations slapped sanctions on Moscow, Russia has begun offering oil and other commodities at discounted prices to India and other large importers.
More Indian oil companies are likely to finalise contracts with their Russian counterparts for importing crude oil. That at a time when global crude oil prices have surged to above $100 a barrel, with the benchmark Brent crude touching multi-year highs of near $140 a barrel at one point since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
India is heavily dependent on importing crude oil for over 80 percent of its energy needs and will continue to source it from wherever it can access on the best terms and conditions.
The deal follows a high-level contact established between India and the Russian Federation earlier this week.
Petroleum Minister Hardeep Puri said in Rajya Sabha on Monday, “In the last few weeks, military action has been on in Ukraine…The government will explore all options available. There are contacts (with Russia)…I myself had a conversation at an appropriate level with the Russian Federation. Discussions are currently on. How much oil is available with Russian or new suppliers? Whenever these arrangements are worked out between our oil Companies and Russia, we will let you know. It is a dynamic, evolving situation characterised by military warfare.”
Sources said today, Indian Oil Corporation, the nation’s top energy firm, has already bought as much as 3 million barrels of crude oil that Russia had offered at a steep discount to prevailing international rates.