Rush to buy Russian crude
After Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd has bought two million barrels of Russian crude oil.
Just like IOC, HPCL bought Russian Urals crude through European trader Vitol, sources said.
Separately, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) has floated a tender seeking one million barrels of similar crude oil.
Western sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine has prompted many companies and countries to shun its oil. This has led to Russian crude being available in the market at deep discounts.
Indian refiners are floating tenders to buy such discounted oil. The tenders are mostly won by traders, who would have stocked inventories of the cheap Russian oil.
The sources said IOC late last week bought three million barrels of Urals through Vitol for May delivery at a discount of $20-25 a barrel to dated Brent. PCL this week made the rare purchase of two million barrels of Urals crude for loading in May, they said.
RIL stays away
Reliance Industries may avoid buying Russian fuel as it has a huge exposure in the US and the sanctions against Moscow may impact its business.
“Even if we can source some of the feeds (from Russia), probably we will be out of it because of the sanctions,” Rajesh Rawat, senior vice-president and business head cracker, told an industry event on Wednesday.
RIL buys Urals crude and straight run fuel oil from Russia. The private refiner mostly buys its petrochemical feedstock from West Asia and the US.