How Russia become great alternative to Saudi Arabia for India?
How Russia become great alternative to Saudi Arabia for India?

New Delhi: Russia has overtaken Saudi Arabia to become the second-largest oil exporter to India despite sanctions from the US and the European Union. At number one is Iraq. The highest oil imports in India come from Iraq. According to industry data, India's oil refineries have been buying Russian oil at a huge discount since Russia's attack on Ukraine. Indeed, Russia's oil buyers have become limited amid a variety of sanctions. That is why some countries like India are getting oil at a lot of concession.

Indian oil refineries bought about 25 million barrels of oil from Russia in May. This accounts for more than 16 per cent of India's total oil imports. According to the data, imports of crude oil from Russia by sea into India have also increased. For the first time in April, Russia's share of oil in India by sea was 5 per cent. In 2021 and in the first quarter of 2022, it was less than one per cent. India is the third-largest oil importer and consumer country in the world. India has been defending its decision to buy crude oil from Russia since Russian President Vladimir Putin's attack on Ukraine.  

India's oil ministry had last month said oil purchases from Russia were lower than India's total oil consumption. India imported the most oil from Iraq in May. After Russia came in second place, Saudi Arabia has now reached the third position. India is taking advantage of a huge discount on Russian crude oil at a time when international oil prices are skyrocketing. India is the third-largest oil-consuming country in the world after the US and China. More than 85% of oil is imported into India.  

Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, there are few buyers of Russia's Urals oil left. Many countries and companies have decided not to buy Russia's energy products, due to which Russia's oil prices have fallen. India's oil refineries took advantage of this and started buying Russian crude oil at a huge discount of up to $30 a barrel. Earlier, buying crude oil from Russia was not a profitable deal for Indian companies as the transportation costs were high.

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