Indian Oil Corp., the country's top refiner, has bought Russian Urals crude for the first time in two years, after spot differentials slumped, according to trade sources and Refinitiv data.
The opportunity for India to buy the Russian flagship grade that typically heads to Europe arose after its discount to global benchmark Brent fell to the widest since 2020, hit by rising tension between Russia and the West over Ukraine.
In a tender seeking high-sulphur oil, IOC bought 2 million barrels of Urals crude from European traders Vitol and Trafigura, which will be delivered in April, the sources said. Urals crude was last imported by IOC at its Paradip port in April 2020, Refinitiv’s trade flows data showed.
In addition to Urals, IOC also bought 2 million barrels of Abu Dhabi Upper Zakum crude from ExxonMobil and 1 million barrels of Iraqi Basra Heavy crude from Trafigura, trade sources said.