Oil supplies from the Middle East to India fall to the lowest level in 19 months as Russia increases supplies


New Delhi: While Russian oil imports increased in September despite refining disruptions that hit total crude imports, statistics from trade and shipping sources showed that oil shipments from the Middle East to India fell to their lowest level in 19 months.

According to the data, Iraq continued to be the number one provider of services, but Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as the second largest supplier after a month-long gap.

Maintenance at refineries such as Reliance Industries and Indian Oil Corp caused India’s total oil imports in September to drop to a 14-month low of 3.91 million barrels per day, down 5.6% from a year earlier, according to statistics.

The data indicated that India’s imports from the Middle East fell to nearly 2.2 million barrels per day, down 16.2% from August, while imports from Russia jumped to nearly 896,000 barrels per day, an increase of 4.6% after declining in the previous two months.

According to the data, the Middle East’s share of India’s oil imports fell to 56.4% from 59% while Russia’s share rose to an all-time high of 23% from 19% in the previous month.

The proportion of Caspian oil increased from 24.6% to 28%, mainly from Kazakhstan, Russia and Azerbaijan.

India has overtaken China as Russia’s second largest oil consumer, taking advantage of lower prices as some Western companies shun Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

“The discount on Russian oil has now shrunk, but when you compare the cost of its landing with other grades like those in the Middle East, it turns out that Russian oil is cheaper,” said a source at a state refinery in India.

The report indicated that despite the decline in imports from Iraq to 948,400 barrels per day, the lowest level in a year, Saudi Arabia’s imports fell to their lowest level in three months at 758,000 barrels per day, down 12.3% from August.

Imports from the United Arab Emirates fell to their lowest level in 16 months at 262,000 barrels per day.

Increased consumption of Caspian oil has reduced the market share of OPEC in India, the world’s third largest importer and consumer of oil, to an all-time low between April and September, the first half of the fiscal year.

Indian refiners reduced their purchases of African oil, which they bought mainly on the spot market, in the first half of the current fiscal year. However, when the second wave of the Corona virus reduced fuel demand last year, it increased Middle East supplies from a low base.

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