Indian Oil Corp, the country’s biggest refiner, will process Russian Urals for the first time next month as it continues to diversify its crude slate, its head of refineries Sanjiv Singh said on Thursday. IOC bought a million barrels of medium-sour crude from Russian trader Litasco through a tender in April, a trade source said. Since this is the first time we will be processing this cargo … we will see the performance of this oil,” Singh told Reuters, adding Urals is likely to be processed at IOC’s 300,000 barrels per day Panipat refinery in northern India.
It was not immediately clear what prompted Litasco to offer Urals at a competitive rates in a tender. IOC directly controls 1.084 million bpd refining capacity. It aims to process 1.1 million bpd in the current fiscal year to March 31 slightly higher than a year ago, when the refiner had maintenance shutdowns at most of its plants, Singh said. IOC, including the plants owned by subsidiary Chennai Petroleum Corp Ltd, has about 1.61 million bpd crude refining capacity, about 35 percent of the country’s 4.6 million bpd capacity.
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