Bengaluru — Indian refiners’ crude oil processing in December rose about 4% from a year earlier, provisional government data showed, in line with elevated demand in the world’s third-biggest oil importer and consumer.
Crude oil production last month was at 586,700 barrels per day (2.48 million tonnes), down nearly 1.2% year on year, the data showed, on lower output at certain Oil and Natural Gas Corporation clusters.
Crude oil imports rose meanwhile to a five-month high on refiners stocking up on cheaper Russian fuel amid a steady increase in consumption in the country.
“Discounted crude oil from Russia will help refiners boost runs,” said Ehsan Ul Haq, an analyst from Refinitiv.
Processing in November fell to 19.58 million tonnes, while crude oil production was 586,000 bpd, down 1.1% versus last year, the data from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas showed.
Supply of oil products has become a global concern since sanctions against Russia were discussed. Ambassadors of European Union governments on Friday discussed a proposal to set price caps on Russian oil products from Feb. 5.
India’s government is also encouraging foreign investments, Haq added. It awarded its latest tender to ExxonMobil for cargoes of Nigerian Usan and Akpo crude.
Natural gas output rose 1.9% to 2.95 billion cubic metres year on year, the data showed.
India’s Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL.NS) plans to shut its multiple refineries for maintenance in the coming months.
*Rahul Paswan; Editing: Jan Harvey – Reuters
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