Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Reliance Industries Ltd, the operator of the world’s largest oil refining plant, has ordered at least 15 million barrels of Russian oil, according to trade sources. According to the sources, Reliance acquired an average of 5 million barrels per month in the June quarter.

Due to high freight costs, Indian refiners, notably Reliance, rarely acquired Russian oil prior to the Ukraine war, Reuters reports

However, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow refers to as a “special operation,” Western sanctions have caused many oil importers to avoid doing business with Moscow, driving down crude prices to historic lows.

India, the world’s third-largest oil importer and consumer, has snatched up the cheap barrels as high oil costs hit the country hard. India imports over 85% of its 5 million barrels per day oil requirements.

New Delhi has urged for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine but has not denounced Moscow’s actions. India has also refused to vote on a number of UN resolutions related to the invasion.

According to Refinitiv’s tanker flow statistics, around 8 million barrels of Russian oil, mostly Urals, are expected to arrive at the Reliance-operated Sikka port in western India between April 5 and May 9.

According to Refinitiv statistics, the majority of these barrels are supplied by Russian dealer Litasco. Reliance is buying Russian oil on a deliverable basis, according to traders. According to Refinitiv statistics, Reliance will receive its first shipment of Russian ESPO oil in early May. China receives the majority of this grade.

Reliance Industries, owned by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, operates two refineries at the Jamnagar complex in western India, with a daily capacity of 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd).

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