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India Seeks Consensus Before Committing To Russian Oil Price Cap

India, the world’s third-largest oil importer which has significantly boosted imports of Russian oil in recent months, is expected to tell U.S. officials this week that it could join a global coalition of setting a price cap on Russia’s oil only if there is a broad consensus on the issue, sources with knowledge of the situation told Bloomberg on Wednesday.

The U.S. and the G7 group of the world’s most industrialized nations are leading efforts to impose a price cap on Russian oil. They are considering waiving the ban on insurance and all services that enable the transportation of Russian oil if that oil is bought at or below a certain price, which is yet to be decided. The Biden Administration and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen have been pushing for weeks to have as many oil buyers as possible agree to a price cap plan. 

India and China would be crucial to such efforts if they agree to the price cap mechanism. 

U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo is traveling to India this week, where he will discuss the price cap on Russian oil, among other things. 

“All tools that will be discussed - including a price cap on Russian oil, clean energy technology, climate finance - are intended to lower the price of energy in India, the United States and globally,” Treasury spokesman Michael Kikukawa wrote in an email to Bloomberg, referring to Adeyemo’s visit to India. 

Related: LNG Prices Haven’t Hit A Ceiling Just Yet

Due to the steep discounts at which Russian oil was being sold on the spot market in the spring and early summer, India has become a key importer of Russian crude, although imports last month dropped from June. 

In July, India’s oil imports from Russia are estimated to have dropped for the first time month-on-month since March as Russian spot prices strengthened amid high demand in Asia, according to industry data obtained by Reuters. Indian imports of Russian crude fell by 7.3 percent from June, but Russia remained India’s second-biggest oil supplier after Iraq last month.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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