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India Likely Selling Refined Russian Oil to West, Study Says

India is exporting products using Russian oil to countries with sanctions on Russia, with the top five being South Korea, Singapore, the US, Australia, and the Netherlands, Petro Logistics says


Indian refiners have been forced to buy Russian oil with US dollars as a bank in Dubai refused to accept dirham, sources have said.
A Rosneft oil treatment plant is seen at Vankorskoye field in Russia, north of Krasnoyarsk. Indian refiners are still buying cheap Russian crude despite the risk of being hit with US sanctions. Reuters image from 2015.

 

India’s fast-rising Russian oil imports are being matched by its rising oil exports suggesting it may be reselling Russia’s oil to the West, a Petro Logistics study claims.

India exported an estimated 308 kb/d (thousand barrels per day) of products to nations meaning they are likely to have used Russian crude oil, it said.

“Over a third of these products are being imported by countries with some form of sanctions on Russia,” the study said. “The top five countries are South Korea, Singapore, the USA, Australia, and the Netherlands.”

 

India Ditches US Oil for Russian

“Since the invasion of Ukraine in February, Indian refiners have taken advantage of steep discounts to make the country one of the largest importers of Russian oil,” the study said.

Indian imports of Russian crude soared to an average of 583 kb/d from April to June 2022 following the war in Ukraine, said the study, 16 times more than 36 kb/d in 2021.

In doing so, Indian companies have avoided the US dollar and are using Asian currencies to pay for Russian oil imports to avoid being tied up in sanctions, Insider reported.

India’s trade has come at the expense of US oil sellers, it added, who sold 166 kb/d less oil to India since the war in Ukraine, a steeper decline than any other country.

 

Biden’s Warning

President Joe Biden previously told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that buying more oil from Russia was not in India’s interest and could hamper the US response to the war in Ukraine.

It is hard to draw any strong conclusions on which Indian imports can be precisely attributed to Russian crude, the Petro study said.

Petro’s estimates suggest that America is importing Indian gasoline, Singapore is buying gasoil and South Korea purchasing naptha, all which are likely made using Russian crude.

 

  • By Alfie Habershon

 

 

 

Read more:

 

Indian Firms Using UAE, Asian Currencies to Buy Russian Coal

US Officials Head to India to Discuss Russian Oil Purchases

Buying Russian Oil Not in India’s Interest, Biden Tells Modi

 

Alfie Habershon

Alfie is a Reporter at Asia Financial. He previously lived in Mumbai reporting on India's economy and healthcare for data journalism initiative IndiaSpend, as well as having worked for London based Tortoise Media.

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