Indian oil refiners are snapping up cheap Russian crude

Indian refiners are loading up on Russian oil as prices of the nation’s crude plunge to unprecedented lows.

Processors from the world’s fastest-growing importer bought about 6 million barrels of Urals crude from the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk in recent days, traders said. That’s the most India has purchased in at least three years, and represents six out of eight planned March loadings for Suezmax ships that each carry 1 million barrels.

Concern that the Ukraine crisis could hit oil supplies has sent Dated Brent – which helps set the price of much of the world’s physical crude – to the highest since 2014. But the cost of Russian oil slid on worries over potential sanctions, with Urals offered at a record discount to Dated Brent on Thursday.

Just before that, a Russian oil company had to cancel a tender to sell cargoes because it was unable to find any buyers.

Though Russian crude is cheap, it’s likely to run into additional costs on the way to buyers. Shipping rates from the Black Sea have surged since Russia attacked Ukraine, while underwriters are struggling to value the insurance for ships sailing from the region.

Source: Bloomberg

Tags: Crude Oil, Indian Refineries, Russia, Suezmax ships
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