Refiner plans to import 120,000 bpd of oil from the Kingdom in next fiscal year versus estimated 80,000 bpd this year
India's Bharat Petroleum Corp
(BPCL) aims to buy more oil from Saudi Arabia and other
countries in 2011/12 to feed its expanded capacity and hedge
against supply worries due to unrest in Libya and a payments
dispute with Iran.
India's No. 3 refiner plans to import 120,000 barrels per day
(bpd) of oil from Saudi Arabia in the next fiscal year beginning
April versus an estimated 80,000 bpd this year, a source
familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.
BPCL aims to process 70,000 bpd Saudi Arabia volumes at its
recently commissioned Bina refinery in Central India and the
rest at its Kochi and Mumbai plants that can together process
430,000 bpd, he said.
Oman Oil Co has a 26 percent stake in Bharat Oman Refineries
Ltd (BORL), which operates Bina refinery, while BPCL holds the
remaining 74 percent.
The source also said BPCL planned to continue lifting 10,000
bpd from Libya, 30,000 bpd from Algeria's Sonatrach and 5,000
bpd each from Malaysia and Brunei-Shell for its Kochi and Mumbai
"Companies like ADNOC, Saudi Aramco and Sonatrach have
agreed to boost supplies to compensate for oil supply loss from
Libya," he said, adding that in the next fiscal year BPCL wanted
flexibility in its crude import options.
India, Asia's third-largest oil consumer, imports more than
two-thirds of its oil needs and depends heavily on volumes from
the Middle East to power an economy that is growing about 9
With political unrest engulfing Libya and threatening to
spread to other oil producing countries, India has worried about
the stability of supplies, seeking to diversify its crude
A BPCL spokesman declined to confirm the changes in his
firm's crude import plan for 2011/12.
He, however, added: "BPCL has a process to make a tentative
plan in the beginning of the year. This undergoes periodic
review during the year.
"Necessary modifications are made based on global
developments, unforeseen circumstances and availability of
specific varieties of crude that are best for our refineries."
In 2010/11, BPCL signed an 8,000 bpd deal with Bahrain's
BAPCO and raised the imports from ADNOC by 10,000 bpd from an
initially agreed 40,000 bpd to replace 20,000 bpd of Saudi
Arabia volumes processed at Bina refinery, he said.
In the next fiscal BPCL aims to import 60,000 bpd from
"If BAPCO agrees then BPCL would like to buy one million
tonne for the next fiscal," said the source, adding the Indian
refiner was also keen to raise imports from Iran to 20,000 bpd
versus 5,000 in this fiscal year if the payment issue between
the two nations could be resolved.
India's central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, said in
December payments to Iran could no longer be settled using a
clearing system run by regional central banks, winning praise
from Washington, but putting at risk imports of about 400,000
barrels per day of oil.
India has paid 1.5 billion euros ($2.08 billion) to clear
pending dues for oil imports from Iran, but a permanent
solution to the impasse has yet to decided.
BPCL also plans to import 10,000 bpd of oil from Kuwait for
Bina, taking its overall imports from the Islamic nation to
60,000 bpd versus 40,000 in the last fiscal year, the source
It plans to raise supplies of term volumes for its two key
plants by 7.3 percent to 250,000 bpd and source 58,000 bpd from
the spot markets, he said, assuming supplies of 132,000 bpd of
locally produced crude oil.
"If you look at overall imports, next fiscal BPCL would be
importing 16.5 million tonnes from term contracts compared to
11.65 million tonnes this (fiscal)," said the source.
BPCL also owns a majority stake in a 60,000 bpd refinery in
northeast India and processes local crude oil at the plant.