Refiners place Saudi Aramco orders
State-owned refiners on Thursday placed orders for regular supplies from Saudi Aramco for June, after reducing purchases this month, drawn by lower prices by the world’s top oil exporter, four sources said on Thursday.
The refiners — Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp, Hindustan Petroleum and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd — normally buy 14.8-15 million barrels of Saudi oil a month.
“This time there is no direction from the ministry to cut imports in June and unlike last time they (Aramco) have reduced the prices as well,” said one of the sources.
Saudi Arabia has cut the June official selling prices (OSPs) of all crude grades it sells to Asia.
It set the June OSP for the flagship Arab light crude at $1.7 a barrel above the Oman/Dubai average for Asia, down 10 cents from May and its first price cut since December last year, sources said.
Earlier this year New Delhi blamed cuts by the Saudis and other oil producers for driving up crude prices as its economy tries to cope with the pandemic and advised state refiners to cut purchases.
India urged refiners to diversify crude sources to cut reliance on the Middle East and directed them to reduce intake of Saudi oil.
The refiners cut purchases by over a third in May.