No plans for now to buy Russian oil in rupees: Teli

Minister of State says oil PSUs neither have a contract nor is any proposal from Russia under consideration

March 28, 2022 07:34 pm | Updated 07:34 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Rameswar Teli

Rameswar Teli

India is not considering buying oil from Russia or any other country using Indian rupees, the junior oil minister told Parliament on Monday, after Western nations imposed sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

With Western sanctions hitting Russia's dollar-based trading, there is focus on Moscow's efforts to switch to other currencies, including the possible use of the yuan and rupee in deals with China and India.

"At present, oil public sector undertakings neither have any contract nor is any such proposal under consideration from Russia or any other country for purchase of crude oil in Indian rupees," State Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Rameswar Teli said.

An oil and gas exploration plant.

An oil and gas exploration plant. | Photo Credit: AFP

Indian companies are snapping up Russian oil through spot tenders taking advantage of deep discounts while other buyers shun purchases over Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

India, which has refrained from outright condemnation of Moscow, has not banned the importation of Russian oil.

Refiners in India rarely bought Russian oil in the past due to high freight costs.

Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri this month however said India was in talks with Russian authorities to buy oil and was evaluating issues related to insurance, freight and payment.

India, the world's third-biggest oil importer and consumer, is exploring paying for Russian imports in rupees but a formal mechanism has not yet been formulated, government and banking sources said.

An Indian government source last week said New Delhi welcomes competing offers for oil sales including from Moscow, especially as global prices have jumped.

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