Saudi Arabia sustains Indian crude supplies

OREANDA-NEWS. April 20, 2016. Saudi Arabia retained its place as the largest supplier of crude to India in the 2015-16 fiscal year ending 31 March, accounting for around 20pc of the country's 4mn b/d imports.

Saudi Arabia supplied about 801,000 b/d to India in the April-March final quarter of 2015-16 and 3mn t of LPG that was around 28pc of the country's total LPG imports, according to the oil ministry.

Iraq was the second-biggest supplier at around 681,000 b/d. Saudi supplies rose by around 13.9pc from 703,000 b/d in 2014-15, while Iraqi shipments increased by 38pc to 492,000 b/d. India sought the Basrah Light grade to fill up its first 9.7mn bl strategic crude facility in Visakhapatnam, while state-controlled refiner IOC and private-sector refiner Reliance Industries started buying heavier grades of Basrah.

India does not plan to further boost imports substantially from Saudi Arabia and Iraq but instead seek new suppliers such as Russia's Rosneft, Latin American nations or increase supplies from Iran, industry officials said.

Iran is focusing on selling crude to India after its domestic oil product demand rose by 10.9pc from a year earlier to a record 183.5mn t in 2015-16. India's demand will continue to rise this year on the back of a 7.5pc economic growth, while stagnant domestic crude output increases its dependence on imports to more than 80pc. More than half of India's crude imports comes from the Middle East, followed by Africa and Latin America.

Iran, which was India's second biggest supplier of crude after Saudi Arabia until 2010-11, shipped 262,000 b/d in the April-September period, the first six months of 2015-16, compared with a 213,000 b/d intake from Kuwait. Full-year imports from Iran are estimated to average 350,000 b/d, boosted by a surge in supplies since January as Iran escaped sanctions restrictions, according to government officials.

Nigeria shipped to India 464,000 b/d and Venezuela 436,000 b/d in the first half of 2015-16.