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India Looks To Russian Crude As Iranian Imports Crash

India and Russia continue to bolster their energy cooperation, and now India is looking at ways to establish oil shipping routes from Russia’s Far East India’s east coast, India’s Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said after a meeting with Yury Trutnev, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister and the Russian president’s top envoy to Russia’s Far East.

During the meeting, India and Russia discussed the opening of “new frontiers of co-operation” between India and Russia’s Far East, especially in the oil and gas sector, Pradhan tweeted.

“We had substantive discussions on new opportunities for energy sector emerging from establishment of shipping routes from Far Eastern Russia to east coast of India,” the minister added.

India also invited Russian companies to invest in future city gas networks across the country and expressed India’s interest in boosting its oil and gas investments in Russia, including in the Far East, Pradhan said.

India, which relies on imports to meet 80 percent of its oil demand, started last year to seek increased cooperation with Russia in the oil and gas sector.

Russia, as one of the world’s largest oil and natural gas producers could become an important source to meet India’s energy needs, Pradhan said last September.

India buys a large part of its crude oil from OPEC’s Middle Eastern producers—Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, and until recently—Iran, but has now suspended Iranian oil imports after the U.S. ended all waivers for Iranian customers. India was Iran’s number-two oil buyer after China.

Following a summit last October, India said that it is further boosting its energy ties with Russia by pledging to cooperate in oil field development and liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in Russia, including in the Arctic shelf.

Some of the recent deals between Indian and Russian companies include Russia’s oil giant Rosneft selling 15 percent in Vankorneft to India’s ONGC Videsh for US$1.27 billion in 2016.

Rosneft, for its part, bought in 2017 49 percent of India’s Essar Oil Limited, now renamed to Nayara Energy.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on June 20 2019 said:
    Where is the proof that India suspended its imports of Iranian crude oil. India still accounts for 28% of all Iranian oil exports. Moreover, India doesn’t recognize US sanctions and that is why the United States retaliated against India.

    China and Turkey both accounting for 31% and 7% of Iranian oil exports respectively are continuing to buy Iranian crude.

    The European Union (EU) is also continuing to buy Iranian crude in a spasmodic fashion despite excessive pressure from the United States.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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