State-run Bharat Petroleum Corp has bought 1 million barrels of low sulphur WTI Midland grade, the first purchase of the U.S. grade by an Indian company, through a tender, an industry source with knowledge of the deal said.
The refiner is seeking delivery of the oil in October, the source added, without elaborating.
Refiners in India, the world’s third biggest oil consumer, are diversifying crude imports as cheaper alternatives have emerged due to a global supply glut despite OPEC and some non-OPEC producers cutting output to try to jack up prices.
India is the latest Asian country to buy U.S. crude, following South Korea, Japan, China, Thailand, Australia and Taiwan, after the OPEC cuts drove up prices of Middle East heavy-sour crude, or grades with a high sulphur content.
BPCL last month made its first purchase of U.S. oil, buying high sulphur crudes Mars and Poseidon.
Indian refiners stepped up purchase of the U.S. oil after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Washington in June when President Donald Trump said the United States looked forward to exporting more energy products to the world’s third-biggest oil buyer.
It is part of Trump’s policy to assert power globally by boosting natural gas, coal and petroleum exports. He said last week the “golden era” of the U.S. energy business was now under way.
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