Home / News / India /  India says oil import from Russia less than 1% of total, sees rise from US
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Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday said India buying more volumes of crude oil from Russia is still less than 1% of the country's total oil imports. He expects crude oil volumes from the United States to rise significantly. The minister said while replying to supplementaries in the Rajya Sabha during question hours.

As per Puri, India purchased about 419,000 tonnes of crude oil from Russia in the first 10 months of the fiscal year which began in April 2020 - accounting for 0.2% of the total import which was at 175.9 million tonnes. Furthermore, India imported 633,000 tonnes of 0.3% in 2020-21, while 2.93 million tonnes or 1.3% of total imports were bought during 2019-20.

In the upper house of the Parliament, Puri stated that the country requires a total of 5 million barrels per day - and 60% of it comes from the Gulf. He said this is our crude oil consumption. Rationalizing, Puri outlined that even if crude oil volumes per day are scaled up considerably yet its dependency from Russia "would still be a drop, literally a drop, in a larger bucket."

Stating oil imports from Russia as "minuscule", Puri explained that even then the total amount decreased will be less than three days' supply from Russia to the country, and that also spread over the next three to four months.

Talking about imports from the United States, Puri mentioned that based on India's imports from this country in the current year- these are likely to go up from 14 million tonnes to 16.8 million tonnes. In value terms, the imports from the US could go up to about $10 billion of crude oil.

Between April 2020-March 2021 (FY21), India's import of crude oil stood at 14 million tonnes from the US - accounting for 7.3% of total imports.

Puri further highlighted that if added imports of LNG and coal, then the trade will be around $13.5 billion from the US. Thereby, Puri believes this is a robust relationship on the energy front between India and US, which he expects to continue going forward.

Highlighting the impact of western sanctions on Indian investment in Russia, the Oil Minister stated that the domestic oil companies have pumped in about $16 billion in oil and gas projects in Russia.

Pointing about multinational companies including ExxonMobil and Shell's exit from Russian projects due to the Kremlin's all-out attack on Ukraine, Puri stated that some have indicated exit while others have decided to not make any fresh investment in Russian projects. However, for India, he said, "we are monitoring the situation."

Puri said discussions are undergoing at the highest levels of Indian oil companies. He ensured that if these companies decide to exit finally and if are economic opportunities, become available, then he said they "will certainly, look at all those possibilities."

At present, India's largest oil and gas exploration company, ONGC-backed ONGC Videsh holds about a 20% stake in the Sakhalin-I project in Far East Russia from where ExxonMobil has already announced exit.

Talking about these exits, Puri stated about concern over operator exiting, as it would impact facilities' production. However, He said, "But we were told that no. Production facilities will continue."

Meanwhile, Puri told about India's strategic oil reserves plan which they joined other countries like the US, Japan, and Korea last year in November. He stated that the release had some sobering impact (on international oil prices). However, India has not joined the latest stock release at the behest of the IEA.

He said releases from strategic reserves can have a limited impact in a given situation. However, when the international market is so roiled as it is today, high prices, he thinks "are of limited concern." (With inputs from Agency)

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