Iraq offers oil waiver to Indian refiners


About one-third of India’s oil imports are from Russia. In such a situation, Iraq has offered to give exemption to Indian refiners to stop its declining share in India’s oil imports. People aware of the matter told that Iraq wants to have an open talk with the Indians as to how much concession they will start taking as much oil as before.

Senior industry officials told that Iraq, currently the largest supplier of oil to India, wants to ask Indian refiners how much discount they want. India is continuously increasing the import of crude oil from Russia, due to which the amount of oil import from West Asia has decreased. This has affected oil arrivals from countries such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

A senior official of a government oil refining company said, “That is why Iraq has told Indian refiners that it is ready to reduce the price of crude oil further. He has expressed his desire for talks to improve the supply of oil. He told that the government also knows this.

Officials said that there is no possibility of bilateral talks on this issue, but this move of Iraq is not unexpected. An official said, ‘When Russia’s relations with the West are continuously deteriorating and huge discounts are being given in crude oil, it is natural for Iraq to become active so that its share in India’s crude oil imports does not decrease further. ‘

In June last year, Iraq overtook Russia by supplying crude oil at an average price of $9 a barrel lower than Russian oil. That is why Iraq became dominant in this price sensitive market.

This cycle continued until on December 5, 2022, the G7 countries fixed a minimum price of $ 60 per barrel for Russian crude oil. Along with this, European Union countries also banned the arrival of crude oil from Russia by sea.

A senior official said, “Isolated, Russia has made more competitive prices so that countries like India and China can have a steady supply of crude oil. Due to this, the shortfall in oil supply to Europe was being compensated by these countries. This continued till February.

Another official said, “Oil imports from Iraq have been a major part of our purchases but given the global complexities and instability within Iraq, India must have alternative arrangements.”

Crude oil imports from Russia have increased rapidly in recent months. It remained India’s largest oil supplier for the fifth consecutive month. India imported 1.6 million barrels of crude oil a day from Russia in February, an all-time high, according to commodity data analysis firm Vortexa. This figure was 1.4 million barrels per day in January and 1 million barrels per day in December. Meanwhile, oil imports from Iraq declined to 9,39,921 barrels per day in February. However, in January it rose to a seven-month high of 9,83,000 barrels per day.


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