The first US crude oil cargo of 1.6 million barrels bought by Indian Oil
Corporation Limited (IOCL) from United States was received at Paradip port on
October 2. This is the first time India has purchased crude from United States
since former US President Michel Obama lifted restrictions on crude exports
from that country.
A sample of the crude was symbolically presented to Sunjay Sudhir, joint
secretary (International Cooperation) in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural
Gas, by Anish Aggarwal, Director (Pipelines), IndianOil, an IOCL release said.
Calling it a new chapter in the
history of Indo-US trade, particularly in the oil and gas sector, Sudhir said
that the inclusion of the US as a source for crude oil imports by India's
largest refiner will go a long way in mitigating the risks arising out of
geo-political disruptions. He hoped that the new arrangement would also usher
in price stability and energy security for India, which is witnessing robust
growth in demand for petroleum products.
MT New Prosperity, a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC), of capacity 2 million
barrels of crude, left US Gulf Coast on August 19 and arrived at Paradip port
on October 2. Indian Oil will process the crude at its East-Coast base
refineries, located at Paradip, Haldia, Barauni and Bongaigaon.
Indian Oil which became the first Indian public sector refiner from India
to source US crude has placed a cumulative order 3.9 million barrel from the
Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum, India's two other public sector
refiners have also placed orders for about 2.95 million barrels and 1 million
barrels respectively for their Kochi and Vizag refineries from the US.
The total volume of the crude presently contracted by Indian public sector
refineries is, therefore, 7.85 million barrels. The three refiners are sourcing
sweet, sour and heavy crudes for their refineries which are equipped to handle
complex mix of crude oils.
Indian companies, both public and private, have made sizeable investment in
US Shale assets with a total investment of approximate 5 billion US dollars.
Indian companies have also contracted LNG from the US and the first shipment is
expected to be delivered to India in January 2018.