New Delhi: State-run Indian Oil Corp (IOC) is planning its first-ever term crude oil import deals with SOCAR and Sonatrach, as it aims to lift 15.4% more low sulphur oil in the current fiscal, sources said.
Sources familiar with IOC’s import plan said on Wednesday terms of the deals to import 10,000 barrels per day (bpd) each of Tunisia’s Zarzaitine grade from Algeria’s Sonatrach and Azeri light from Azerbaijan’s SOCAR had been finalised, but the agreements were yet to be signed.
IOC, which normally buys the two grades through spot tenders, plans to import 150,000 bpd of low sulphur crude through annual term deals in the current fiscal year that began on 1 April.
India’s top refiner annually imports crude for its 10 refineries, which have a combined capacity of 1.2 million bpd.
IOC’s term crude contracts for high sulphur crude are expected to remain unchanged at last year’s 580,000 bpd volume.
In the 2009-10 fiscal year, IOC initially planned a 60,000 bpd deal with Angola and 30,000 bpd imports of Malaysian crude. “But the deal size was later reduced to 40,000 bpd and 20,000 bpd,” said one of the sources.
The Indian firm buys Girrasol, Cabinda and Nemba from Angola, Labuan and Miri Light from Petronas, Seria Light from Brunei Shell Petroleum Co and Upper Zakum grade from the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.
IOC’s head of refineries and international trade S.V. Narasimhan declined to comment on the firm’s crude purchase plans and international trade-related issues.
“These are confidential to the company,” he said. Following is the table of IOC’s term crude import plan