India is not considering the option to purchase crude oil from Russia or any other country in rupees, the government told Parliament on Monday.
“At present, oil public sector undertakings neither have any contract nor is any such proposal under consideration from Russia or any other country for purchase of crude oil in Indian rupees,” Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Rameswar Teli said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.
His response came on a question by Odisha MP Sujeet Kumar, who had sought to know if India was under contract with any country to purchase crude oil in rupees instead of US dollars. Kumar wanted to know the portion of petroleum trade between India and Russia that takes place in rupees. He also asked if India was currently looking to extend trade with Russia.
On March 16, the government had said it was exploring options to buy Russian crude oil, as its prices had tumbled to their lowest in view of the Ukraine conflict and the sanctions imposed on Moscow by western countries.
On February 26, Reuters had reported that the Indian government was looking into ways to formulate a mechanism for rupee payments for trade with Russia.
This was after several countries placed sanctions on Russia after it invaded Ukraine on February 24. Since then, Russia, which is the world’s largest exporter of crude and fuels, has raised fears of supply disruption.
Higher costs are detrimental to India as it imports 85% of its crude oil. Government data showed that India only buys 3% of the oil supplies from Russia.