India, the world’s third-largest oil importer, for the first time will import crude oil from the United States. The purchase comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US in June 2017 when President Donald Trump had assured that US looks forward to export more energy products to India.
Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has bought 1.6 million barrels of US Mars crude (a heavy, high-sulphur grade) and 400,000 barrels of Western Canadian Select that will be delivered onboard a Very Large Crude Carrier. The import will take place after IOC gets the carrier in October 2017 from PetroChina. The oil will be loaded off the US Gulf Coast,
The import of crude from US could become an alternative source for the Indian companies for the supply of heavy, high-sulphur grades as feedstocks, which typically sell at a lower cost relative to other oil types. Besides IOC, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) is second Indian refiner which also has planned to buy its first ever US crude oil cargo and has issued a purchase tender.
India will be the latest Asian country to buy US crude after Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Australia, China and Taiwan as they seek to diversify oil imports from other regions after the OPEC production cuts raised prices of Middle East heavy-sour crude ( grades with a high sulphur content).