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India's state-run refineries assured of 'uninterrupted' Saudi supplies in Oct

Singapore — Indian state-run refineries will receive uninterrupted crude supplies from Saudi Arabia in October, oil ministry officials said Thursday, allaying fears of any temporary supply disruption due to the recent attacks on Saudi Aramco's key oil facilities.

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India's oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that Indian state-owned refiners continued to receive supplies from Saudi Aramco.

The Saturday attacks on Aramco's Abqaiq oil processing facility and its Khurais oil field resulted in the temporary suspension of 5.7 million b/d, or about half of Saudi Arabia's crude production capacity.

State-owned refiners such as Indian Oil Corp., Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd have been assured of seamless crude supplies from Saudi Arabia, officials said.

"Saudi Arabia has assured us of uninterrupted heavy crude grade supplies," an Indian oil ministry official said.

Saudi Arabia is India's second-biggest crude supplier after Iraq, supplying around 19% of India's oil imports last year.

Related infographic: Attacks lay bare Saudi Arabia's oil vulnerability

On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia's energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the kingdom had already restored more than half of the oil production capacity damaged in Saturday's attacks.

Saudi Arabia expects to restore its crude production to 11 million b/d by the end of September and recover its full capacity of 12 million b/d two months later, Abdulaziz said.

"Saudi Aramco will fulfill its supply commitment at any cost," said an official working with one of the state-run Indian refineries.

He said Saudi supply commitment would be met mainly through heavy grades rather than light grades.

"Saudis will meet the supply commitment but the offered grades may differ," another refinery official said.

A majority of Indian refineries are configured to process heavy crude grades with relatively higher sulfur content, oil ministry officials said.

In July, Indian refineries processed 21.8 million mt of crude oil. For April-July, the refineries processed 84.4 million mt. Currently, India's refining capacity stands at 249 million mt/year.

India, the world's third-biggest crude importer, meets 83% of its demand via imports from the Middle East and other countries such as Nigeria, Mexico, Venezuela and the US.

--Ratnajyoti Dutta, newsdesk@spglobal.com

--Ada Taib, ada.taib@spglobal.com

--Edited by Haripriya Banerjee, haripriya.banerjee@spglobal.com