The ONGC head has asserted that the trade between India and Russia will only grow stronger in the coming months, reported Reuters citing the Russian agency.
“The share of Russian oil imports, which was less than 2% in 2021/2022, has increased tenfold to 20% in the oil import basket,” Singh was quoted as saying at a St Petersburg International Economic Forum panel.
The level may reach 30% by the end of the 2023/24 financial year, he added.
“Then, guaranteed trade between the two countries will grow even stronger and Russia will have a major role to play in ensuring India’s energy security.”
Interfax did not specify frames of the 2023/24 financial year.
Russia has been redirecting its energy supplies from Western countries which have imposed restrictions and sanctions on trade with Moscow, including an oil price cap, after its invasion of Ukraine. China and India purchase most of the re-routed Russian energy.
Russian crude oil imports by India, the world’s No. 3 crude importer, hit an all-time high in May as buyers gorged on discounted supplies, reducing demand for oil from the Middle East and Africa, according to preliminary assessments from ship trackers.
‘India, China bought 80% of Russia’s oil in May’
Meanwhile, in its latest Oil Market Report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said the world’s top oil users India and China bought about 80% of the oil that Russia exported in May, lapping up heavy discounts from the country facing massive sanctions from the West.
It said, “India has increased purchases from almost nothing to close to 2 million barrels per day, while China has raised liftings by 500,000 barrels per day to 2.2 million barrels per day.”
India’s imports of Russian oil were 14% higher than in April and a fresh record high for Russian crude flows into the country.
IEA said that India’s oil thirst will only grow in the coming years due to increasing urbanisation and industrialisation.
“Further propelled by trends such as urbanisation, industrialisation, and the emergence of a wealthier middle-class keen for mobility and tourism, Indian oil demand will grow by more than 1 million barrels per day between 2022 and 2028.”
Diesel, the main fuel by far, will see its share of the product mix climb from 32% to 35% over the forecast period.
(With inputs from agencies)