New Delhi: Indian oil refiner Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd is diversifying its crude slate this year by buying from Kuwait for the first time, its finance head said on Friday, as global oil supplies continue to face disruptions.
MRPL, a unit of state-run explorer ONGC aims to buy 1 million tonnes, or 20,000 barrels per day (bpd), of crude oil from Kuwait this financial year ending March 2012, Vishnu Agrawal told Reuters, and will get the first cargo this month.
“We are diversifying our crude slate. We are raising the capacity of our refinery, for that we need volumes. Our first oil cargo from Kuwait is being loaded. We are trying to buy one cargo every month,” Agrawal told Reuters.
The company, which plans to raise capacity at its Mangalore plant by 27% to 300,000 bpd, plans to buy about 1 million tonnes oil from Saudi Arabia and 1.5 million tonnes from Abu Dhabi’s ADNOC.
“Kuwait is a new contract. All others are renewals of old contracts with some plus minuses,” MRPL’s managing directory U. K. Basu said.
He said shipments from MRPL’s biggest supplier, Iran, are continuing at a rate of 7.5 million tonnes a year despite a discussion over payments which have been derailed by the central bank’s decision to stop use of a clearing mechanism.
MRPL owes Iran $800 million for oil shipments at the moment, he said, adding in the current fiscal his firm’s oil requirement would be 13 million tonnes, including 1.8 million tonnes of local supplies.
MRPL also plans to import 1.5 million tonnes of oil from spot markets.
Separately, ONGC’s chairman, who also heads MRPL, said the Indian cabinet will make a decision on how to pay for oil imports from Iran.
A solution for paying Iran will be reached when the cabinet meets to discuss the issue, A. K. Hazarika said, adding payment for Iran crude could be made in Indian rupees.