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India to import US crude for 1st time, delivery in October 2017
11 July 2017 , 15:30Neftegaz.RU405
India, the world's 3rd-largest oil importer, has sealed a 1st deal to import crude oil from the US and the shipment is expected to touch Indian shores in October, indian IOC reported on July 10, 2017.
The deal, by state-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC), comes within weeks of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the US when President Donald Trump talked of his country looking to export more energy products to India.
«We have bought 2 million barrels of crude oil from North America comprising 1.6 million barrels of US Mars crude and 400,000 barrels of Western Canadian Select,» IOC Director (Finance) A K Sharma told here.
US Mars is a heavy, high-sulphur grade which will be processed at IOC's newest refinery at Paradip in Odisha.
Sharma said the company will buy more crude from the US if the market conditions remain favourable for such purchases.
The IOC move has already led to more purchases by other Indian refiners.
State-owned Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) too tendered to buy 1 million barrels of crude either for loading on August 16-September 5 or delivery on Septeber 26- October 15.
But for importing crude from the US, IOC had to take special permission from the shipping ministry.
«Every time we decide to buy US oil, we will have to take this permission,» he said adding the cargo contracted will be delivered at Paradip refinery in the first week of October.
Indian refiners are joining their Asian counterparts to diversify their crude slate following the narrowing of the Dubai spreads against West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent prices in the wake of OPEC/non-OPEC production cut deal.
Sharma said that IOC is looking at 5 to 6 grades of US crude, including Mars crude, for future purchases.
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