Indian Oil Corp, the country’s top refiner, bought three million barrels of Russian Urals from trader Vitol for delivery in May, trade sources said. This is the first purchase of the strain since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.
Western sanctions against Russia have caused many companies and countries to shun its oil, pushing Russian crude to record price levels.
The IOC said in late February it would buy Russian oil on a delivered basis to avoid complications related to ship repairs and insurance.
According to sources, the IOC sees no problem paying for the freight as oil is not a banned commodity and it is not dealing with a sanctioned organization.
Vitol sold the batches to dated Brent at a discount of $20 to $25 a barrel, one of the sources said. The companies usually do not comment on commercial transactions.
Separately, IOC also bought two million barrels of Murban crude from Abu Dhabi and one million barrels each of Akpo and Forcados from Nigeria and Kole from Cameroon, they said.
Pricing details were not immediately available.