India has taken advantage of discounted prices to ramp up oil imports from Russia at a time when global energy prices have been rising.
After the US and China, India is the world’s third-largest consumer of oil, over 80% of which is imported.
But in 2021, only around 2% of its total oil imports (12 million barrels of Urals crude) came from Russia, according to Kpler, a commodities research group.
By far the largest supplies last year came from oil producers in the Middle East, with significant quantities also from the US and Nigeria.
In January and February, India didn’t import any oil from Russia.
But so far, the amount of Urals oil contracts made for India covering March, April, May and June – around 26 million barrels – is higher than the quantity purchased during the whole of 2021, according to Kpler.
Meanwhile, Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States have imposed outright bans on Russian oil purchases but the 27 members of the European Union have not been able to agree on the embargo.
The bloc is leaning toward a ban on imports of Russian oil by the end of the year as part of the sixth package of sanctions against Russia.
Germany, the EU’s largest economy, said it would be able to weather an EU embargo on Russian oil imports by the end of this year even though a stoppage could result in shortages.
Hungary said it still opposed any European Union embargo on Russian oil and gas imports.
Many refiners in Europe, however, have stopped buying Russian crude voluntarily, or promised to do so when their long-term contracts expire.
Major global trading houses are also planning to reduce Russian crude and fuel purchases from May 15.
As a result, Russian diesel exports from the Baltic port of Primorsk, a key supply source for Europe, were set to drop by more than 30% in May.
China and India, which have refused to condemn Russia’s actions, continue to buy Russian crude.
List current and former buyers of Russian crude oil
Indian state-run refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd has bought 2 million barrels of Russian Urals for May loading from trader Trafigura, two people familiar with the purchase said. The company regularly buys Russian Urals for its 310,000 barrels per day (bpd) Kochi refinery in southern India.
Greece’s biggest oil refiner relies on Russian crude for about 15% of its intake. The company earlier this month secured additional supplies from Saudi Arabia.
India’s state refiner bought 2 million barrels of Russian Urals for May loading, according to trading sources last week.
Indian Oil Corp
India’s top refiner has bought 6 million barrels of Urals since Feb. 24 and has a supply contract with Rosneft for up to 15 million barrels of Russian crude in 2022.
However, the refiner, which also buys crude on behalf of its Chennai Petroleum subsidiary, has excluded several high-sulphur crude grades, including Urals, from its latest tender, according to trading sources.
Italy’s largest refinery, owned by Lukoil-controlled Swiss-based Litasco SA, has been forced to source nearly all of its crude oil from its Russian owner because international banks are no longer providing it with credit.
The Italian government is considering temporary nationalisation of ISAB as one of its options if sanctions are imposed on Russian oil, two government sources told Reuters.
The land-locked Leuna refinery in eastern Germany, majority-owned by France’s TotalEnergies, is also fed Russian crude by the Druzhba pipeline.
Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals
The state-run Indian refiner has bought 1 million barrels of Russian Urals crude for May loading via a tender from a European trader, a rare purchase driven by the discount offered.
Russian crude continues to account for about 14% of the intake at Germany’s largest refinery, Miro, which is 24% owned by Rosneft.
The Hungarian oil company, which operates three refineries in Hungary and Slovakia and Croatia, continues to buy Russian crude via the Druzhba pipeline, as well as refined products.
The company said it would take two to four years and cost between $500 million and $700 million to replace Russian oil imports in case of a full European embargo.
The Indian private refiner, part-owned by Rosneft, has purchased Russian oil after a gap of a year, buying about 1.8 million barrels of Urals from Trafigura.
A Bulgarian refinery, owned by Russia’s Lukoil, and with Russian crude accounting for about 60% of its intake, continues to refine Russian crude.
Germany’s PCK Schwedt refinery, 54% owned by Rosneft, receives crude oil via the Druzhba pipeline.
Indonesian state energy firm PT Pertamina is considering buying crude oil from Russia as it seeks oil for a newly revamped refinery.
Poland’s largest refiner has stopped buying Russian crude on the spot market, switching to North Sea oil, but is still buying Urals under previously signed contracts which expire by the end of this year or later.
The company, which operates refineries in Lithuania, Poland and the Czech Republic, saw its profit from refining surge in March thanks to the discount it pays for Russian oil.
China’s state-run Sinopec, Asia’s largest refiner, is continuing to purchase Russian crude under previously signed long-term contracts but is steering clear of new spot deals.
The British oil major, which is abandoning its stake in Rosneft, will not enter new deals with Russian entities for loading at Russian ports, unless “essential for ensuring security of supplies”.
Japan’s biggest refiner has stopped buying crude oil from Russia, while some cargoes signed under previous agreements will arrive in Japan until around April. The company plans to source alternative supplies from the Middle East.
The energy group, 30.3% owned by the Italian government, is suspending purchases of Russian oil.
No Russian crude will be used at Germany’s Bayernoil refinery, in which Eni and Rosneft have stakes.
Norway’s majority state-owned energy firm has stopped trading Russian oil as it winds down its operations in the country.
The Portuguese oil and gas company has suspended all new purchases of petroleum products from Russia or Russian companies.
The global mining and trading firm, which holds a 0.57% stake in Rosneft, said it would continue to honour its obligations under previously signed contracts, but would “not enter into any new trading business in respect of Russian origin commodities unless directed by the relevant government authorities”.
The Finnish refiner has not bought Russian crude oil on the spot market since the start of the war and is not planning to sign new deals when the existing long-term supply contract ends in July. From the start of April, the refiner has replaced about 85% of the Russian crude oil with other crudes.
Romania’s top oil and gas firm, controlled by Austria’s OMV has said it was preparing to wean itself off Russian crude imports, which account to about 30% of its Petrobrazi refinery’s annual needs.
Sweden’s largest refiner, owned by Saudi billionaire Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi, has “paused” new orders of Russian crude, which accounted for about 7% of its purchases, replacing them with North Sea barrels.
The Spanish company has stopped buying Russian crude oil in the spot market.
The world’s largest petroleum trader has stopped buying Russian crude and on April 27 said it would no longer accept refined products with any Russian content, including blended fuels.
The Geneva-based global commodities trader plans to stop all purchases of crude oil from Rosneft by May 15 when tighter EU rules on Russian oil sales come into effect, and “substantially” reduce volume of refined products it buys from Rosneft.
The French oil companyhas said it would no longer enter into or renew the existing contracts to buy Russian crude oil and petroleum products, with the aim of halting all purchases by the end of 2022.
The contracts primarily cover supplies for its Leuna refinery in eastern Germany, which gets Russian crude via the Druzhba pipeline, as well as Europe’s gasoil supply.
The Swiss refiner, which owns 51.4% in Germany’s Bayernoil refinery, has said it does not plan to enter into new deals to buy Russian crude.