Reuters: Essar Oil raised monthly imports from top supplier Iran by over a third in November and may have bought for the first time Lavan and Marum grade from the OPEC member, data from trade sources showed.
By Nidhi Verma
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Essar Oil raised monthly imports from top supplier Iran by over a third in November and may have bought for the first time Lavan and Marum grade from the OPEC member, data from trade sources showed.
The private firm, which operates the 280,000 barrels per day (bpd) Vadinar refinery in Gujarat, imported some 283,630 bpd oil in November versus 187,430 bpd in October and 263,520 bpd in November last year.
Essar Oil along with some state refiners is hit by the recent Indian central bank move to stop guaranteeing payments under Asian Clearing Union for crude oil purchases from Iran.
If the row over payments for oil purchases is not resolved, Essar Oil could shift back to importing crude from South America.
During Jan-Nov 2010, it imported Latin American grades in February, April, June, July and September.
Essar’s crude slate is in stark contrast to Reliance Industries, which has stopped oil imports from Iran since April.
While Reliance has raised the imports of cheaper and tougher grades from Latin America by an annual 89.5 percent in January-November, Essar has reduced the shipments from the region by about 45 percent.
Essar Oil in October said it was replacing imports of Latin American crude with local Mangala grade.
Iran continued to be the biggest crude oil supplier to Essar in Jan-Nov 2010, followed by U.A.E, which displaced Venezuela as the No. 2 supplier.
(Reporting by Nidhi Verma)