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U.S. Warns India Against Buying More Russian Oil

  • U.S.: India buying more crude from Russia could expose it to a "great risk" in light of more sanctions against Moscow.
  • Kpler data: Indian purchases of Russian oil had jumped to an average daily of 360,000 barrels.
  • Moscow and New Delhi finalized an alternative payments platform

The United States has warned India that buying more oil from Russia could expose it to a "great risk" in light of more sanctions against Moscow, Reuters has reported, citing an unnamed senior U.S. official.

"U.S. has no objection to India buying Russian oil provided it buys it at discount, without significantly increasing from previous years," the source said, adding. "Some increase is allowed."

According to Reuters, India has taken advantage of the steep discount for Russian oil following a wave of U.S. and European sanctions on its financial system that has discouraged many traditional buyers from considerably boosting purchases.

Since February 24, when Russia invaded Ukraine, India has bought some 13 million barrels of Russian crude, which compares with 16 million barrels for the whole of last year.

Earlier this month, the FT reported, citing data from Kpler, that Indian purchases of Russian oil had jumped to an average daily of 360,000 barrels, which was four times the average amount India bought from Russia last year.

"Already committed oil cargoes from Russia that can't find buyers in Europe are being bought by India," Alex Booth, head of research at Kpler, told the FT. "Exports to India surged in March before any official announcement by New Delhi."

India imports more than 80 percent of the crude oil it consumes and has been seeking to diversify its sources, including by boosting the intake of Russian oil. The Western sanctions have shut off Russia's trade in U.S. dollars, but, according to reports, New Delhi and Moscow are discussing a payment arrangement using their own currencies.

Earlier today, the Economic Times reported, citing unnamed sources, that Moscow and New Delhi had finalized an alternative payments platform aimed at facilitating bilateral trade amid the sanctions. According to the report, the new platform could become operational within a week.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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Leave a comment
  • Mamdouh Salameh on March 31 2022 said:
    This is becoming a big joke. First the United States warned China not to buy Russian oil and now it is warning India. The first is a nuclear power and the world’s largest economy based on purchasing power parity (PPP) and the second is also a nuclear power and the world’s third largest economy based also on PPP. As expected, both China and India ignored the US warnings.

    Still, the United States didn’t mind rushing to Venezuela dangling a lifting of sanctions against it for a few barrels of oil and offering Iran one concession after another for the sake of a return of Iranian crude to the market.

    The bigger joke, however, is that the United States thinks that its sanctions have extra territorial jurisdiction.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London
  • Kris Poole on March 31 2022 said:
    I just want to remind you. India is a sovereign state, and can purchase oil from Russia, or anybody in the transaction that is beneficial for both states. U.S has absolutely no business to interfere in this agreement. Why does U.S. is trying to dictate, or blackmail anybody who wants to do business with Russia? In this case U.S is looking more, and more like a world policeman, or even worse like a world dictator. India's politics and commercial ties are not necessarily aligned with U.S.
    U.S. has a very ugly record while interfering and trying to bring the so called "democracy", to the sovereign states with totally different culture and half a century behind in development. It always ends up the same way, exploitation by big U.S. corps, massive corruption, and war. Reflecting on the century long record it's time for the U.S. to see, that world is no longer uni-polar, and each sovereign state has the right to make their own decision based on their own interest, and best for the interest of their people. U.S. must stop this scandalous behavior on the world stage.
  • Daney Trestin on April 01 2022 said:
    Think the petrodollar, warmongering and globalism is finished. Countries will do what’s right for them and look after their own affairs.
  • Dan Scott on April 01 2022 said:
    What an accomplishment for the Biden administration - alienating the world's most populated democracy. We have the Saudi's turning to China and India turning to Russia. Next, I suspect Biden will give up the USD as the global benchmark currency too.
  • Lee James on April 01 2022 said:
    Seems pretty clear to me that India and lot of the Mid-East and South-East do not see invasion of Ukraine as pertaining to them. These countries are their own thing and their own region.

    But I have to say it has puzzled me how Russia and Syria could turn places like Aleppo, Syria into dust, with the world saying, "what dust?" As 21st Century warfare against civilian populations plays out, I really wonder where the outrage is. Burn on, fossil fuel! Fossil fuel is so far the enabler.

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