New Delhi: Sanction-hit Iran’s fear of losing market share to other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) seems to be coming true with one of its biggest buyers – India - gradually turning towards Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria to meet oil requirements.
India’s crude oil imports from Iraq in August increased 53 percent to 5.19 million tonnes (MT) as compared to the corresponding month a year ago. Oil imports from Iraq during the first five months (April-August) of the current financial year increased 12 percent to 21.24 MT.
According to data provided by the commerce ministry, Reliance Industries’ Jamnagar and Sikka port combined handled 6.77 (MT) of Iraqi crude oil during the first five months of the current financial year as compared to 5.31 MT in the year-ago period.
Nayara Energy-owned Vadinar Port handled 4.03 MT of Iraqi crude oil during the five months as compared to 4.8 MT. Other ports which handled significant quantities of Iraqi crude included Mundra Port (2.28 MT), Paradip Port (2.07 MT), Chennai Port (1.95 MT) and Cochin Port (1.64 MT).
India’s oil imports from OPEC’s de-facto leader Saudi Arabia jumped 45 percent in August to 4.39 MT. Oil imports from Saudi Arabia increased by 13.28 percent to 17.74 MT in the first five months.
Reliance Industries Jamnagar and Sikka port combined handled 6.06 MT of Saudi crude oil during the April-Aug period as compared to 5.81 MT handled during the corresponding period a year ago.
Other ports which handled significant quantities of Saudi crude included New Mangalore Sea Port (2.63 MT), Paradip port (2.18 MT), Mumbai Port (2.07 MT) and Cochin Sea (1.67 MT).
Nigeria toppled Iran to become the third-largest supplier of crude oil to India in the first five months of the current financial year. Crude oil shipments from that nation increased 23.40 percent to 7.17 MT during the period.
India’s oil imports from the United States jumped 72 percent to 4.48 MT during the first five months. A bulk of these oil shipments were handled by Reliance Industries’ Jamnagar and Sikka ports.
Crude oil imports from OPEC countries decreased to 77.9 percent of total imports during April–August period from 83.2 percent in the same period last year. India’s overall oil imports in August rose 6 percent to 19.7 MT but dropped marginally to 94.4 MT in the first five months of the current financial year.
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