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India Eyes More Russian Barrels as Cap Kicks In

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Despite the official start of an EU embargo and G7 price cap on Russian seaborne crude exports this week, India wants to keep buying as much discounted Russian oil as it can. India, which has said it will not comply with the $60 per barrel price cap, plans to use non-EU insurance and shipping services and could even utilize its own tankers to circumvent it — so long as Russian discounts are attractive enough. Russia was India’s top supplier in November for a second consecutive month, providing 900,000 barrels per day, accounting for one-fifth of India's oil demand. Energy Intelligence estimates India could import up to 600,000 b/d more Russian oil if the price is right and the tankers are available. A senior official from India's oil ministry said barrels will continue to flow from Russia, as traders have assured there are enough non-Western vessels and insurance available that will allow India to keep buying it without adhering to the price cap. Moscow has said it will not do business with countries using the cap. Russia itself has expanded its tanker fleet, buying many aging tankers to supply to countries like India and China, but it could struggle to place all of its exports, especially after the EU ban extends to Russian refined products on Feb. 5. Although India has been mostly buying from Russia on a spot basis, the official noted that term deals are also being explored, illustrating how serious New Delhi is about the trade.

Topics:
Diesel/Gasoil, Gasoline, Crude Oil, Oil Demand, Oil Trade, Ukraine Crisis
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