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India's oil importers sometimes experience delays in paying for the Russian crude when it's above the $60 a barrel price cap set by the G7, but most of the current Indian imports from Russia are priced below that cap, a senior Indian official said on Monday.
"Nobody stops us from buying Russian oil at above the price cap level provided. We are not using western service," India's oil secretary Pankaj Jain said at an event as carried by Reuters.
The EU and G7 banned on December 5 maritime transportation services, including insurance and funding, from shipping Russia's crude oil to third countries if the oil is bought above the price cap of $60 per barrel.
India and the other key Russian oil buyer, China, haven't joined the so-called Price Cap Coalition of mostly Western nations that imposed the price cap on Russia's crude oil if the cargoes are using Western insurance, shipping, and financing.
In case of purchases above the $60 price cap, Indian importers are arranging themselves the payment settlements, the Indian oil secretary said.
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 earlier this year.
"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.
So far this month, India and China have snapped up Russian cargoes at prices above the price cap, according to Reuters estimates on trading source data. India is estimated to account for over 70% of the Urals shipments in April, and China is receiving 20% of those shipments so far this month, according to Reuters estimates.
Russia has been India's top crude oil supplier for months now, and beat Iraq as the top oil supplier to the world's third-largest importer for the 2022/2023 fiscal year ended March 2023.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.