India’s Bharat Petroleum Corp will increase oil purchases from Iraq more than three-fold this year after raising its appetite for cheaper crude.
The state-run refiner will import 5mn tonnes of various grades of Iraqi crude, including Basrah Heavy, in 2019 as against 1.5mn purchased last year, R Ramachandran, director for refineries, said in an interview in Mumbai last week. Higher imports from Iraq will displace some of the crude it imports from other Middle East countries, he said.
BPCL will also continue to purchase Iran crude as much as available because it’s cheap and economical, he said. The company plans to buy 1mn barrels of Iranian crude in March, after buying an equal quantity in February.
Iraq is the biggest supplier of crude oil to India, which imports more than 80% of its requirements. Russia’s Rosneft established its presence in India by acquiring a private refinery at Vadinar in the western Indian state of Gujarat.
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