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Аналитика // Petroleum Products
Analysis: Indian refiners set sights on Russian crude oil
21 марта 2017 г., 00:25Neftegaz.RU572
2 of India's largest refiners, Reliance and the state-owned Indian Oil Corporation, are setting their sights on buying Russian Urals crude as the key export grade shows signs of competing with some Middle Eastern sour barrels, market sources told S&P Global Platts.
In what traders are describing as an opportunistic move, the price of Urals crude exported from the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk is becoming more attractive to some refiners in India, as the OPEC-led production cuts have reduced exports of Middle Eastern sour crudes, pushing up their price differentials.
It is very unusual for India to buy Russian crude oil, but there are signs the economics are proving more favorable than they have in the past due to more interest from the East for Dated-Brent related crudes, supported by lower freight amid robust demand for sour crudes.
Traders said increased interest for Urals oil from Reliance, which runs the world's largest refinery in Jamnagar, and Indian Oil Corporation, which operates 11 refineries in the country, bodes well for the Russian Urals market.
Traders said IOC had bought a Urals cargo for end-March loading while Reliance was looking for a parcel for end-March/early-April loading dates.
Representatives from Reliance and IOC were unavailable for comment.
The Asian grades have really gotten expensive [over the last few months mainly driven by OPEC cuts] and India is now looking for alternative crudes that are cheaper - Urals is one of them, said a trader.
Sources said India has expressed interest for Urals late last year, with a couple of instances seen, but that before that there have been very few cargoes of Urals exported to India in the past 5 years.
Urals appeal grows
The appeal for Indian buyers to look at Urals crude becomes more obvious when comparing delivered values to the West Coast of India of Oman crude versus Urals loading from the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk.
The cost of shipping a Suezmax of Med Urals to the west coast of India (on a delivered basis) is around $1.50-2.00/b cheaper than shipping a cargo of Oman crude to the same destination, according to Platts data.