ONGC Videsh Sells Russia’s Sokol Oil To HPCL, BPCL, Says Report

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New Delhi: ONGC Videsh, the overseas investment subsidiary of Oil and Natural Gas Corp, has sold at least one cargo of Russian Sokol oil to state-run refiners Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp after failing to draw interest in a tender earlier this month, sources familiar with the matter told news agency Reuters.

ONGC Videsh has a stake in Russia’s Sakhalin-1 project and sells its share of the oil from the project through tenders.

According to the report, in the tender earlier in March, ONGC Videsh did not get any bids for the Sokol crude oil cargo for May loading.

The sources said HPCL and BPCL had been able to offer a discounted price for the cargo. This marks the first purchase of Sokol crude by HPCL. BPCL had previously purchased the grade in 2016.

The sources have said that the two refiners will pay ONGC in rupees.

One of the sources said ONGC Videsh will look at selling more cargos to Indian refiners if there is no interest from overseas buyers.

The sanctions by the West have dealt a severe blow to Russia’s economy, but the European Union, which relies on Russian oil and gas, has stopped short of placing curbs on energy imports and continues to pay in euros to Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said that Russia, the world’s largest gas producer, will soon require “unfriendly” countries to pay for fuel in roubles.

India, which has refrained from outright condemnation of Russia, though has called for an end to violence in Ukraine, has not banned Russian oil and gas imports, unlike several Western countries.

On the contrary, Indian companies are snapping up Russian oil as it is available at a deep discount after some companies and countries shunned purchases from Moscow.

India, the world’s third-biggest oil consumer and importer, has not banned Russian oil imports.

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