India's oil imports from US to rise by 11% amid criticism over Russia purchase

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India's oil imports from US to rise by 11% amid criticism over Russia purchase

  • India buys most of its oil from the Middle East, but the US has emerged as the fourth-biggest source.
  • Oil imports from the US to 11% this year as the country looks to secure supplies from around the world, including heavily sanctioned Russia.
  • The surge in oil prices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine last month threatens to fan Indian inflation, stretch public finances and hurt growth.

India-US oil trade background

  • The United States became the fourth-largest supplier of crude oil to India in 2020.
  • The US supplied 10.7 million tonnes of crude oil to India in 2020.
  • US supply accounted for about 5% of India’s total imports, a big jump for the country which had started exporting oil to India in 2017.
  • It also turned out to be the fourth-largest natural gas supplier to India in 2020.

Current Scenario

  • Russia offered crude oil and other commodities at discounted rates to India.
  • The jump in global fuel prices since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine has added to India’s challenges.
  • The pressure for competitive sourcing has increased.

Current India-Russia crude oil trade

  • Russian oil exports to India quadrupled in March.
  • Russia has so far exported 360,000 barrels of oil a day to India in March (four times the 2021 average).
  • India's move to buy oil from Russia against which several nations have imposed sanctions - led to raised concerns from the US.


  • Western sanctions have carve-outs to avoid any impact on energy imports from Russia.
  • Russian banks that process payments for these sales remain on the SWIFT network.
  • Countries with oil self-sufficiency or those importing themselves from Russia cannot credibly advocate restrictive trading.