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India's IOC buys first US sweet crude for end-October delivery


State-run refiner Indian Oil Corp. has for the first time bought 950,000 barrels of light sweet Eagle Ford shale oil from the US, company officials said Friday.

It also bought 950,000 barrels of US Gulf Coast medium sour crude Mars, the second such purchase of the grade.

A total of 1.9 million barrels of both US crude grades will be shipped by the end of October. No pricing details were provided.

India\'sIn July, IOC sealed its first deal to import 1.6 million barrels of crude from the US for delivery in the first week of October to its Paradip refinery on India's east coast. The July deal made IOC the first state-run refiner in India to buy US crude.

This deal came shortly after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the US in June, where both countries discussed the possibility of boosting cooperation in the energy sector.

The recent OPEC/non-OPEC capacity cuts have meant that India has had to diversify its crude suppliers, with state-run refiners making purchases of US crude grades.

Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd., a state-run refiner, has been regularly buying US crude since July.

Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd., another state-run refiner, plans to import US sweet crude in the next few months for its Vizag refinery in southern India, company officials said recently.

India currently depends on OPEC countries for 86% of its oil imports, with Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and UAE its major suppliers.

In the first six months of 2017, India's crude imports fell 1% year on year to 105.66 million mt.

In 2016, India's total crude imports rose 9.6% year on year to 215.43 million mt, provisional data from the Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell showed.

Source: Platts 

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