New Delhi: Crude oil imports by Reliance Industries, which operates the world’s biggest refining complex, jumped more than 65% in July versus June, including renewed Venezuela supplies and a rare cargo from Russia.
Reliance imported about 1.08 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude last month, up from nearly 910,000 bpd the month before and around 650,000 bpd a year ago, before it had commissioned the second half of the complex, second shipping data compiled by trade sources showed on Tuesday.
July’s imports showed a growing divergence in its crude slate, including a swathe of grades it has rarely—if ever—purchased, such as Cameroon’s Lokele, Venezuela’s Santa Barbara, Gabon’s Mandji, Egypt’s Ras Budran and Angola’s Cabinda.
It also bought an unusually high 4.3 million barrels of Russian Urals crude, as well as trebling its intake of Egyptian and Qatari grades as it revs up operations at its expanded 1.24 million bpd Jamnagar plant.
Reliance has been adding new grades in its portfolio since the start up of its new sophisticated refinery in December 2008 that allows it to process some of the heaviest grades.
Limited supplies of costlier Middle East grades has strengthened flow of Urals to Asia compared to negligible volumes last year when Middle Eastern suppliers were showering refiners with as much crude as needed amid record-high oil prices.
Recently the company commissioned alkylation unit at its 580,000 bpd refinery in Jamnagar in western Gujarat state, sited next to its old 660,000 bpd old refinery.
The refiner bought 46% less crude from top oil producer Saudi Arabia with 121,000 bpd shipped in July compared to about 223,920 bpd in June.
Crude imports from United Arab Emirates and Neutral Zone—a region whose production belongs to both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait—also declined in July compared with a year earlier, although imports from suppliers that were absent last year compensated, including Brazil, Angola, Iraq, Ecuador, Russia, Gabon and Cameroon.
Following is the table of Reliance’s country-wise crude imports in barrels per day in July, based on tanker discharge information from industry sources.