This move aims to transition from sporadic purchases, which have exposed the Asian country to competitive vulnerabilities, to a more stable procurement strategy.
Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum, and Hindustan Petroleum are collectively looking to secure about 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) from Russia.
However, the negotiations are complex, with the refiners insisting on clauses that would shield them from penalties or disruptions due to payment delays.
Historically, India has depended heavily on Middle Eastern countries for its crude oil needs.
Post-2022 , the landscape shifted when India capitalised on the opportunity to purchase discounted Russian oil following the Ukraine conflict.
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Despite this, the influx of Russian oil to India has diminished recently, attributed to shrinking discounts and escalating payment complications amidst the US’s enforcement of a price cap on Russian oil.
China, alongside India, remains a significant purchaser of Russian crude.
Representatives from Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum, and Hindustan Petroleum did not respond to requests for comments, reported the media outlet.
Separately, Reuters reported that the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is exploring the resumption of its operations in Libya and aims to boost its output in Venezuela.
ONGC director of exploration Sushma Rawat said: “Once it gets started for Oil India, same applies to us. We are also in the same pact with National Oil Corporation of Libya.”
ONGC executives’ comments come after reports emerged that Oil India is currently in talks with relevant parties to take up drilling 13 years after it left Libya because of political unrest.
Additionally, Guyana’s Minister for Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, mentioned last week that India is pursuing a multiyear oil purchase agreement with Guyana to diversify its crude import sources.