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India becomes Russia’s key oil export market as fallout of Ukraine war

ONGC's mega investment plans

As the year 2022 came to a close, India became the main outlet for Russian seaborne Urals.

According to Hellenic Shipping News, until December 26, Urals loadings to Asia were 3.5 million tonnes, including 2.4 million tonnes for India or 40 per cent of the month’s overall loadings of the grade from Russia’s ports. But this could rise further this year.

India’s oil imports from Russia in December “is on track for a record, even as weaker Asian demand and a European Union oil embargo has lowered overall volumes, according to traders, Refinitiv data and Reuters calculations, it said.

Indian authorities have clarified that the domestic market and its needs will drive oil imports with an eye on keeping inflation in check.

Last month at the conference of curtain raiser for India Energy Week 2023, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that India which was earlier buying crude from 29 countries is now sourcing oil from 39 countries. “We are ready to buy from anywhere,” he said.

“We used to buy very limited quantities of oil from Russia up to March 31, 2020, to 0.2 per cent, now Russia has become a prominent supplier along with UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait,” the minister said.

The G7 imposed a price cap of $ 60 on Russian oil after Moscow’s Ukraine invasion.

Meanwhile Moscow has also reached out to New Delhi exploring opportunities for purchase for at least 500 different products which include parts for cars, aircraft and trains.

Also read: In New Year message, Russia’s Putin hopes India’s G-20 presidency will be good for Asia and world