May 28, 2023

Great Indian Mutiny

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While Europe buys Russian crude oil refined in India

This situation predates the use of the Russian diesel ban. So, it’s not a surprise, but confirmation that many are coming. From February 5, Europe will have no choice but to replace half a million barrels of diesel it previously bought from Russia every day.

India, the fourth world refinery

India, with its 23 refineries, is fast establishing itself as a preferred supplier to European countries, particularly France, Turkey, Belgium and the Netherlands. More precisely: Indian refineries, which used to get oil from the Middle East, particularly Iraq, are increasingly getting it from Russia.

Nearly half of the oil imported by India’s second largest refiner Reliance and Naira, 49% owned by Russian energy company Rosneft – is now of Russian origin, according to data from analyst firm Vortexa. Russian oil selling at knockdown prices makes Indian refiners more competitive and allows them to capture new market shares in Europe.

Before the invasion of Ukraine, Indian exports of petroleum products to the European Union averaged 154,000 barrels a day — diesel and jet fuel — and have risen to 200,000 barrels a day since early February, Kper advises. 30% of total Indian diesel exports now go to Europe, up from 21% previously.

No oily smell

These figures confirm that Russia’s oil products have been laundered by India and China, although that would be difficult to prove. The adage that oil has no smell still applies to diesel, which is much harder to find.

Products refined in India are not reported as originating in Russia. Therefore, its import is not against the European standard.

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