India’s crude oil imports from Iran and Venezuela fell 50 per cent and 4.2 per cent, respectively, in February as compared to the corresponding month a year ago, fresh data sourced from the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCIS) showed.
Both OPEC members Iran and Venezuela are facing crippling economic sanctions by United States, hampering oil exports from these countries. While sanctions targeting Iran’s oil industry came into effect from November last year, Venezuela faced US sanctions in late January this year.
In light of the partial restrictions imposed on India, to import limited quantities of Iranian crude up to May this year, crude oil imports by India from Iran in February slumped 50 per cent to 1.13 Million Tonne (MT), as compared to 2.27 MT imported in the corresponding month a year ago.
However, cumulatively, India’s oil imports from Iran during the April-February period of 2018-2019 increased 9.08 per cent to 22.46 MT, as compared to 20.59 MT imported in the corresponding period a year ago.
Similarly, India’s crude oil imports from Venezuela fell 4.2 per cent to 1.14 MT in February as compared to 1.19 MT imported in the corresponding month a year ago. Oil imports from Venezuela have already plummeted this fiscal year on the back of reduced exports and production from the OPEC country.
Cumulatively, India’s import of Venezuelan crude dropped 9.47 per cent to 15.58 MT in the period between April 2018 and February 2019.
Reliance Industries, one of the largest importers of Venezuelan crude had last week said in a statement it has stopped all businesses with Venezuela’s state-owned oil company PDVSA, adding the company will resume business’ with the company only after the sanctions are lifted.
Venezuelan crude enters India primarily through RIL’s SEZ Jamnagar port, Sikka Port, Adani’s Mundra Port and Nayara Energy’s Vadinar port.
The Jamnagar port handled 7.23 MT of Venezuelan crude in the first 11 months of the current fiscal, marginally down from 7.25 MT handled in the corresponding period a year ago. The port handled 0.49 MT of Venezuelan crude in February 2019, as compared to 0.39 MT handled in the same month last year.
Sikka port handled around 3.77 MT of Venezuelan crude in the first 11 months of the present financial year, down from 6.11 MT handled in the year ago period.
Nayara’s Vadinar port handled 3.11 MT of Venezuelan crude in the April-February period of 2018-2019, as compared to 3.75 MT in the corresponding months a year ago.
Crude oil imports from other countries
Iraq, one of the largest producers and exporters of crude oil, maintained its position as India’s top crude oil supplier in the first 11 months of 2018-2019. Oil imports from Iraq jumped 37.25 per cent to 4.2 MT in February this year.
Cumulatively, oil imports from Iraq increased 3.81 per cent to 42.96 MT in the April-February period.
Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports to India decreased marginally to 2.66 MT in February 2019 from 2.75 MT exported in the corresponding month a year ago. Cumulatively, oil imports from Saudi Arabia rose 10.69 per cent to 36.44 MT in the April-February period.
India, which imports over 82 per cent of its oil supply from OPEC, has been trying to diversify its crude oil sources and has significantly ramped up imports from the United States. The share of OPEC in oil imports dropped marginally to 82.7 per cent in the April-February period.
Oil imports from US stood at 5.62 MT during the 11 months of 2018-2019 as compared to 1.31 MT imported in the corresponding period a year ago. Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the country’s largest fuel retailer, in February entered into a term contract for import of 3 MT of crude oil from the United States valuing over $1.5 billion.
Also, India’s crude oil imports from Mexico jumped 20 per cent to 9.10 MT in the first 11 months of the current fiscal.
Source :- Energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com