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India Swaps Russian Crude For Saudi Oil As Discount Dwindles

India’s October imports of Russian crude oil were down 4% compared to the previous month, with increased imports from Saudi Arabia.

According to IBC, citing Vortexa cargo data, India imported 1.55 million barrels per day of Russian crude in October, compared to 1.62 million bpd in September.

The drop in October reflects a dwindling discount for Russian crude, which is frequently selling above the G7-imposed price cap of $60 per barrel, despite buying restrictions.

The fall in India’s Russian crude imports for October was balanced out by an increase in imports of Saudi oil. India took in 924,000 bpd of Saudi crude in October, compared to 523,000 bpd in September, IBC reported, citing Vortexa data.

India’s crude oil imports from Russia fell by more than 4 percent in October compared to September, according to figures compiled by energy cargo tracker Vortexa.

Total crude oil imports by India reached 4.56 million bpd in October.

India is the third-largest importer of oil in the world.

If the price is right, India has also said it would consider importing Venezuelan oil following an easing of U.S. sanctions.

"It is always good when more supplies come to market," Reuters cited Indian Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri as saying at an industry event, adding, "We will buy from wherever we can get cheaper oil."

On October 18, the U.S. Department of the Treasury lifted most sanctions on Venezuelan oil for a period of six months. Venezuela oil is heavy, sour crude, which has been in short supply. Despite the lifting of sanctions, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) notes that due to “years of underinvestment and mismanagement”, Venezuela will “likely limit crude oil production growth to less than 200,000 barrels per day (b/d) by the end of 2024”. 

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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