IOC committed to long-term crude contracts

Indian Oil Corporation, the country’s largest refiner, is committed to long-term oil and gas contracts with the Middle East, its chairman Shrikant Vaidya has said.

Speaking at the Middle East Petroleum & Gas event in Dubai on recently, he said: “We have already maintained whatever we have committed from the Middle East and the total energy pie in the country has increased.

“Though I might have taken oil from the other geographies, my continued relations with the Middle East in terms of the oil supply remains intact.”

However, spot purchases from the region have gone down to accommodate more Russian crude, Mr Vaidya said.

India, the world’s third-largest crude importer, has increased imports of discounted Russian oil since the start of the Ukraine war last February.

Russian oil cargoes to India rose to 44 million tonnes last year, from 6.5 million tonnes a year earlier, according to VesselsValue, a valuation company.

Russian oil exports reached 8.3 million barrels a day in April, the highest since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, the International Energy Agency said in a report last week.

The lack of global investment in new oil and gas projects is a “cause of worry” for large energy importers such as India, Mr Vaidya said.

The IOC chairman also said an ageing fleet of crude tankers could result in a bottleneck.

Nearly 28% of the crude carriers will be retired in a “few years” and the order book for new vessels is “practically zero”, Mr Vaidya said.

IOC aims to sign more long-term crude oil contracts, backed by “robust demand” in India for the next two decades, he said.

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