The first cargo consignment from the world’s newest oil producer Guyana, to India – the world’s third-largest crude importer, departed this month from a production facility off the South American nation’s coast. The data from Refinitiv Eikon showed on Tuesday that the shipment was sent in a vessel chartered by trading firm Trafigura.
The 1 million-barrel cargo of Guyana’s Liza light sweet crude set sail on March 2 on Marshall Islands-flagged tanker Sea Garnet bound for India’s Mundra port, where it is set to arrive around April 8.
OPEC’s nett share in India’s oil imports fell to historic lows between April 2020 – January 2021. India had asked its refiners to quickly ensure the diversification of imports to cut their usual dependence on Middle Eastern crudes after OPEC+ decided to extend production cuts through April. The refining powerhouse made preparations to import Guyanese crude while simultaneously renewing a key supply contract between top refiner Indian Oil Corp Ltd and Russia.
Guyana’s natural resources minister, Vickram Bharrat, told Reuters earlier this month that the crude onboard the Sea Garnet had been originally allocated to New York-based Hess Corp, one of the companies producing crude in Guyana along with Exxon Mobil Corp, and delivered to Trafigura, but did not know the identity of the cargo’s final buyer.
India predominantly imported Venezuelan oil, but tight U.S. sanctions on the South American country have since 2019 limited the volume India can buy. Ever since Guyana began exporting crude in early 2020, its oil has been mainly routed to the United States, China, Panama and the Caribbean Islands.
India did not receive any Venezuelan crude imports for the third month since December due to US’ suspension of oil-for-fuel swaps between the state-run PDVSA and Reliance Industries Ltd since October. In February 2020, 371,300 barrels per day (bpd) of Venezuelan oil arrived in Indian ports.