Bharat Petroleum has made the first-ever purchase of the US crude oil as it pursues a strategy to diversify import sourcing after Opec and non-Opec suppliers cut their output to jack up prices.
Sources said BPCL has bought 1 million barrels of low sulphur WTI Midland grade through a tender.
The refiner is seeking delivery of the oil in October, sources added.
India is the latest Asian country to buy US crude. South Korea, Japan, China, Thailand, Australia and Taiwan are already importing American oil. The trend began when Opec production cuts pushed up prices of West Asian heavy-sour crude, or grades with a high sulphur content.
Indian refiners stepped up purchase of the US oil after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned from the June visit to Washington. President Donald Trump had said the US looked forward to exporting more energy products to India.
Thanks to shale revolution, oil and gas production has increased dramatically in the US, making it a net energy exporter. Trump has eased petroleum exploration regulations to help the US companies to harness hydrocarbon resources, which he thinks would create jobs for Americans.