- Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
Russia's Special Operation in Ukraine
On February 24, Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine, aiming to liberate the Donbass region where the people's republics of Donetsk and Lugansk had been living under regular attacks from Kiev's forces.

US Crude Exports to India Decline as New Delhi Goes for Cheaper Russian Oil: S&P Report

© AP Photo / Essar Oil company's Vadinar oil terminal, part of the sprawling oil refinery complex is seen in Gujarat state's Jamnagar district, India (File)
Essar Oil company's Vadinar oil terminal, part of the sprawling oil refinery complex is seen in Gujarat state's Jamnagar district, India (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.05.2022
India, the world’s third biggest crude consumer, sources around 85 percent of its oil requirements from overseas. Reeling from high domestic fuel prices, New Delhi has advocated diversifying its energy sources. The Indian gov't has also warned that cutting off Russian energy supplies would further escalate the fuel prices and hurt its citizens.
Overall American crude exports to India registered a decline in March this year as compared to the months of January and February, American financial intelligence firm Standard and Poor’s (S&P) stated on Friday, citing the latest official data released by Washington’s Census Bureau.
While the crude exports from the US to India averaged around 476,000 barrels a day in January and February, they dropped to 229,000 barrels a day in March.
The firm has said that the trend is set to continue in the April-June quarter as US crude exports to India face increasing “competition” from Russia’s ‘Ural’ grade crude amid escalating global prices.
Brent Crude was trading at $111 a barrel on Thursday, a day after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called for banning Russian oil imports into the 27-nation bloc as part of the sixth phase of sanctions against Moscow because of its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

As per data cited by S&P, Russia’s crude exports to India in April were to the tune of 627,000 barrels a day, compared to 274,000 barrels per day in March. In February, India had imported “zero” barrels of Russian crude.

In comparative terms, India was the largest market for Russian crude in April, with almost a quarter of the overall production going to the South Asian nation, as per shipping and other data shared by S&P.
A major draw for Indian refiners was that Russian oil was trading at around $40 a barrel, much lower than the prices of other crude oil.

The shipments of increased Russian crude to India were reportedly headed for two refineries in Jamnagar city in India’s Gujarat state, which are backed by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani. Shipments of Urals grade also made their way to the refineries owned by Nayara Energy as well as those owned by state-owned companies, including Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited.

However, the ongoing and predicted rise of Russian crude exports to India in the coming months won’t affect the trade flows much.
The Indian government has repeatedly pointed out that its energy imports from Russia comprise just a fraction of the crude it sources from foreign countries, amid pressure from the US and European partners, which have been urging New Delhi to snap its energy ties with Russia altogether.
“Our top 10 import destinations are mostly from West Asia. In the recent past, the USA has become a major crude oil source for India, supplying almost $13 billion worth of energy imports, with almost 7.3% of the market share for crude oil imports,” India’s Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas clarified in a press release on Wednesday (4 June).
“Despite attempts to portray it otherwise, energy purchases from Russia remain miniscule in comparison to India’s total consumption,” the ministry pointed out, as it slammed efforts to "politicise" what it describes as “legitimate” energy transactions.
India also, in a way, justified its energy ties with Russia, arguing that it has been “constrained to pay the ever-increasing prices charged by a certain oil supplier” in the wake of the conflict in Ukraine.
“India’s energy needs are enormous with daily consumption of around 5 million barrels and a refining capacity of 250 MMTPA (million metric tonnes per annum),” the petroleum ministry release added.
At a discussion on Ukraine at the UN Security Council on Thursday, India’s Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti remarked that the “destabilising” effects of the crisis in Ukraine on the global oil prices was having a “disproportionate impact” on the developing nations.

India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar stated at a security conference in New Delhi last month that the volume of Russian crude that New Delhi sources in a month is less than what the EU buys from Moscow “in an afternoon”.

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