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India’s Top Refiner Seeks To Buy U.S. Sour Crude For The First Time

In a bid to diversify supplies, India’s biggest oil refiner has issued its first tender to buy sour crude from the U.S. and Canada, Reuters reported on Tuesday, just a week after U.S. President Donald Trump hosted India’s Prime Minister at the White House at the beginning of the U.S. administration’s Energy Week.

Indian Oil Corp (IOC) seeks to buy up to 2 million barrels of crude grades Mars, Southern Green Canyon, and Thunderhorse from the U.S.—along with Canada’s Western Canadian Select, according to Reuters’ sources. The deliveries of the sour crude from North America could be made at the Paradip port in late September-early October, or to the Vadinar port on the west coast in early October, the sources said.

According to Reuters, IOC is mostly buying crude oil from the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and Africa, along with small volumes of oil from Latin America, but it has bought only two cargoes of light sweet crude oil from Canada so far.

The US-India energy cooperation doesn’t stop there—it also includes Indian energy companies signing more than US$30 billion in long-term contracts for U.S.-produced liquefied natural gas (LNG), including from Louisiana and Maryland, and an upcoming trade mission of U.S. technologies that can optimize the performance of India’s oil refineries.

The Indian tender for sour crudes from North America is the latest attempt by an Asian market—after China and Japan—to seek sour grades at competitive prices as the heavy crude output and supply from the Middle East has dropped with OPEC’s collective production cut.

India wants better deals with OPEC, asking for a “responsible price” and “seller-buyer alignment”, India’s Petroleum Minister Dharmenda Pradhan said in May this year.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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