India’s ONGC sells Russian Sokol oil to Indian refinery wells


India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd. has sold at least one shipment of Russian Sokol oil to Indian refiners Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp after failing to pique interest in a tender earlier this month, sources familiar with the matter said.

Indian companies are snapping up Russian oil as it is available at deep discounts after some companies and countries shunned purchases from Moscow amid sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

India, the world’s third largest oil consumer and importer, has not banned Russian oil imports.

ONGC Videsh, the foreign investment arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corp, has a stake in Russia’s Sakhalin 1 project and is selling its stake in the project’s oil through tenders.

In the early March tender, ONGC Videsh received no bids for the Sokol crude oil shipment for shipment in May. The sources said HPCL and BPCL could have offered a discounted price for the freight. This is HPCL’s first purchase of Sokol crude oil. BPCL had previously purchased the strain in 2016.

The two refiners will pay ONGC in rupees, the sources added.

One of the sources said ONGC Videsh will try to sell more cargoes to Indian refiners if there is no interest from overseas buyers.

ONGC Videsh, HPCL and BPCL did not respond to Reuters emails seeking comment.

Western sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine have hurt Russian oil sales, allowing Indian and Chinese refiners to buy Russian Ural crude at a deep discount.

India has called for an end to violence in Ukraine but has refrained from direct condemnation of Russia, with which it has longstanding political and security ties.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his troops to Ukraine in a bid to demilitarize and “denazify,” as he calls it, Ukraine. Ukraine and the West say Putin launched an unprovoked war of aggression.

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