Monday, 30th October 2017

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US oil may gain edge

The shipment of US oil to India has already increased over the past two years

By R. Suryamurthy in New Delhi
  • Published 22.01.20, 12:53 AM
  • Updated 22.01.20, 3:06 AM
  • a min read
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Industry sources said during US President Donald Trump’s visit, a high-level official and business delegation, including CEOs of top oil-producing companies, are expected and there would be talks on garnering concessions for assured supplies with them (AP photo)

India could increase oil and gas imports from the US if Washington is able to provide competitive pricing compared to traditional sourcing zones such as West Asia.

Industry sources said during US President Donald Trump’s visit, a high-level official and business delegation, including CEOs of top oil-producing companies, are expected and there would be talks on garnering concessions for assured supplies with them.

Apart from better pricing of the product along with insurance cover, the talk would also focus on getting longer term credit, which would make the offer competitive and attractive vis-a-vis Iranian crude, imports of which have been put on hold by New Delhi because of the sanctions imposed by the US.

The shipment of US oil to India has already increased over the past two years and India may end up importing close to 10 million tonnes (mt) in the current financial year. This could be doubled in 2020-21 if official and company level negotiations next month yield positive results, they said. This would be closer to the quantum of crude imports from Tehran prior to the sanctions.

In the current fiscal, oil imports from Iran have dipped to 1.97 million tonnes, down from 23.9mt in 2018-19. Iran used to meet more than 10 per cent of the country’s total oil imports.

Senior oil ministry officials said the state-owned oil firms would draw up plans of procuring the product at competitive prices to meet the energy security needs of the country.

“We expect good rates and better terms from American firms that would compensate for our transportation costs. In return, we can offer them an assured market,” officials said.

India is also keen on long-term oil supply contracts with Russia and oil producing countries in Africa as it plans to diversify its crude sourcing to minimise the energy risk.