India cuts oil imports from top supplier Saudi Arabia, increases from Africa

India cuts oil imports from top supplier Saudi Arabia, increases from AfricaUnion Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday said that India had cut crude oil imports from its top supplier Saudi Arabia by 8% in 2014-15.

In written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, Pradhan said that crude oil import from Saudi Arabia was cut from 38.18 MT in 2013-14 to 34.99 million tonnes in the year to March 31, 2015.

News agency PTI reported that imports from Iran were almost flat at 10.95 MT and shipments from Kuwait fell from 29.35 MT to 17.85 MT.

Pradhan informed that overall, imports from Middle East fell by over 5% to 109.88 MT.

Meanwhile, the country has increased purchases from Africa and Latin America.


“Crude oil imports from Africa and South America rose 10% each as Indian refiners bought heavier but cheaper grade oil,” he said.

Cheaper variants and softening of shipping costs led Indian refineries to reduce imports from Saudi Arabia and move to Mexico and Venezuela.

While, Saudi Arabia and Iraq were number one and two, respectively, in providing crude oil in 2014-15, Venezuela was a very close third with 24.40 MT of oil supplies.

With 17.82 MT of crude oil supplies, Nigeria was tied with Kuwait for the fourth spot.

“Imports from Africa rose to 33.05 million tonnes in 2014-15 from 30.39 MT in the previous year. They went up from South America too, to 34.46 MT from 31.73 MT in 2013-14. Mexico supplied 5.06 MT of crude oil in 2014-15, marginally higher than 4.94 MT a year ago,” informed Pradhan.

Indian government has maintained crude oil imports from Iran at 2013-14 level as the US looked to financially choke Tehran to bring it to negotiating table on its controversial nuclear programme.

Pradhan said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a target for reduction in import dependency in energy by 10% to 67% by 2012-22, from 77% dependency in 2013-14.

(Image: Indiatimes)