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Indian refiners come for Nigeria, Russia’s crude oil, as Ukraine war lingers

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Nigeria and Russia are some of the biggest beneficiaries of Indian refiners’ high appetite for non-European and Middle Eastern crude oil last month, according to Analyst at Refinitiv, an American-British global provider of financial market data and infrastructure.

Ehsan Ul Haq, analyst with Refinitiv, said Indian refiners have been demanding for diesel and jet fuel from Nigeria due to the costly price offered by Middle Eastern national for their oil, ramping up Africa’s oil export to India from 5.9% in April, to 11.5% in May.

“Diesel is calling the tune … if you want to boost production of diesel and jet fuel then you need Nigerian and Angolan grades. China has cut imports of Angolan grades because of Covid-related shutdowns so some of these barrels are going to Europe and some to India.” Hindustantimes quoted Ul Haq on Monday.

While the figure for last month’s trade isn’t available, according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), India imported crude oil worth N774.5 billion in Q1 last year from Africa’s largest economy.

Aside from Nigeria, Russia has also seen India’s demand for its oil skyrocket to its highest in May, with the country importing 819,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Russian oil, against the 277,000 Vladimir Putin exported to the South Asian country in April.

Read also:Crude oil trades at $112.50, as Nigeria’s output drops to three-month low

The significant increase is driven by Russia overloading its oil at a cheaper price to mitigate the impact of European Union ban on its crude export into European continent. Putin’s country was restricted from trading with most EU nations over its decision to invade Ukraine.

Ripples Nigeria had previously reported that Russia said it will look for new buyers for its crude, and India is stepping up to take advantage of the country’s move to offload the oil in a bid to prevent wastage and heavy financial loss.

The war began on February 24, 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine, and part of EU measures to weaken Putin is to cut his major financial source, which is crude oil, to prevent him from having enough cash to finance the war.

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