Iraq is set to overtake Saudi Arabia in 2017-’18 as the largest supplier of crude oil to India for the first time. India imported 25.8 million tonnes of crude oil from Iraq during April-October, more than 21.9 million tonnes procured from Saudi Arabia, data presented by Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in the Lok Sabha on Monday showed.
Saudi Arabia has traditionally been India’s largest source of crude oil, but Iraq has gradually bridged the gap since 2014-’15.
In 2014-’15, Iraq supplied 24.5 million tonnes and Saudi Arabia 35.0 million tonnes. The next year, Saudi Arabia’s share rose to 40.4 million tonnes, but Iraq’s increased even more, to 36.8 million tonnes. In 2016-’17, Saudi Arabia’s export declined but Iraq’s continued to rise.
The increase in Iraq’s supplies can be attributed to a rise in prices in Saudi Arabia and cheaper heavy crude from Iraq’s Basra Heavy grade crude.
Iran is the third largest supplier of crude oil to India, exporting 12.5 million tonnes during April-October. Venezuela took the fourth spot, with 11.5 million tonnes.