The Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) has made a rare purchase of two million barrels of Russian Urals crude for loading in May.
Reuters reports that European trader Vitol sold the cargo to the refiner. HPCL’s acquisitions follow the three million barrels of the same Russian grade bought by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) last week.
The western sanctions on Russia have compelled many countries and companies to avoid taking oil from Moscow.
This has depressed Russian crude to record discount levels.
Several reports have circulated recently over Russia being willing to offer its oil to India at considerable concessions.
India purchases 2 per cent – 3 per cent of its total crude oil imports from Russia. However, New Delhi is looking to enhance this share if it can help in cutting down India’s rising energy bill.
The White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki too asserted on Wednesday that India’s purchase of discounted Russian crude wouldn’t be a violation of the sanctions imposed on Moscow.
In addition to oil, the centre is also looking to buy cheaper raw material for fertilisers from Russia and Belarus.
“It would ease some fiscal concerns,” an officer in the know of developments informed Reuters earlier this week.