India struggles to cash in on cheap Russian crude – media – RT Business News

India struggles to cash in on cheap Russian crude

Maintenance work at the world’s largest oil refining complex has been postponed to process more discounted crude from Russia.

Indian refining giant Reliance Industries has shelved plans for repair operations at the world’s largest oil refining complex as the company scrambles to produce more petroleum products as margins on them have recently risen to three-year highs, reports Bloomberg.

The company has been buying discounted oil cargoes from Russia after European buyers chose to shy away from Russian crude, pushing up margins on products like diesel and naphtha.

In January-March, the margin on diesel fuel soared 71% compared to the previous quarter, while those on gasoline increased 17% and naphtha prices rose 18.5%.

Reliance’s refinery complex can process almost 1.4 million barrels per day of almost all varieties of crude oil. The company is reportedly known for its agility in oil trading, which helps it profit from price fluctuations.

With EU member states still struggling to agree on the Russian oil embargo, some European customers have been avoiding Russian crude in recent months. The proposed ban is part of the sixth package of sanctions the bloc has imposed on Moscow in response to the military operation in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Indian importers have reportedly increased energy purchases of Russian crude oil and coal at discounted prices, shifting their strategy from tenders to negotiated deals for deeper discounts.

According to the media, Indian state and private refineries have absorbed more than 40 million barrels of Russian oil since the end of February, when the military operation was launched.

Last week, media reported that India, the world’s third-largest oil importer, was seeking Russian crude at less than $70 a barrel to offset additional hurdles, such as securing financing for purchases amid Western sanctions.

Melissa Galbraith
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