London: India’s largest oil refiner, Indian Oil Corp (IOC), has tendered to buy sweet crude oil for November delivery, traders said on Tuesday, seeking a full suite of grades after limited buying in recent weeks.
Grade offers to state-run IOC for the tender must be submitted by 31 August, price offers by 1 September and an award was expected on 2 September, traders said.
The refiner bought one very large crude carrier (VLCC) of Nigeria light sweet crude via tender last week, traders said, only half the volume expected. IOC was reported to have bought Nigerian Bonga and Forcados grades for October loading from Shell. Neither party confirmed the purchase.
IOC has a total capacity of over 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd). It tenders several times a month to buy crude oil, and mostly takes West African barrels.
But in recent weeks, IOC’s purchases of West African barrels have been relatively limited with several cargoes deferred or cancelled, traders said.
Indian buyers had been deterred, traders said, by high prices for sweet crudes inflated by the loss of Libyan crudes due to the civil war in the North African country.