Russia's largest oil firm, state-controlled Rosneft, signed on Wednesday a term agreement with Indian Oil Corporation to raise the supply of Russian crude to India significantly.
The deal was signed by Rosneft's chief executive Igor Sechin during a visit to India, in which he met with officials from the Indian government, as well as with the heads of some of the country's largest oil and gas companies, Rosneft said in a statement on Wednesday.
"The parties also discussed ways of expanding cooperation between Rosneft Oil Company and Indian companies in the entire value chain of the energy sector, including possibilities of making payments in national currencies," the Russian company said.
From a negligible buyer of Russia's oil before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, India has become a key export market for Moscow and is importing record volumes of Russian crude. In February, Russia remained India's top oil supplier for a fifth consecutive month.
Russia has been redirecting most of its crude oil exports to China and India since the EU and the G7 announced plans to embargo seaborne oil imports from Russia and set a price cap on the crude if it is to be shipped to third countries using Western tankers and insurers.
India is not abiding by the G7 price cap as it seeks opportunistic purchases of cheap crude, and it doesn't intend to.
India will buy the oil it consumes from "wherever we have to" if the economics are beneficial for the country, Indian Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told CNBC last month.
"Today we feel confident that we'll be able to use our market to source from wherever we have to, from wherever we get beneficial terms," the minister said.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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