India's oil imports hit record high in September - trade

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India imported a record 4.83 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in September as several refiners resumed operations after extensive maintenance to meet rising local fuel demand.

Oil tankers are seen parked at a yard outside a fuel depot on the outskirts of Kolkata February 3, 2015. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/File Photo

The world’s third-biggest oil importer shipped in 4.2 percent more oil last month than a year earlier and about 19 percent more than in the previous month, ship-tracking data from industry sources and Thomson Reuters Analytics showed.

“There was heavy maintenance at some refineries in July-August. All those refineries have come online, so naturally refiners will have to boost purchases to meet local demand,” said Senthil Kumaran, senior analyst at energy consultant FGE.

Maintenance turnaround at some refineries led to Indian Oil Corp deferring the shutdown of its 300,000 bpd coastal Paradip refinery to April-March. [REF/A]

During the first nine months of the year India’s oil imports rose 1.8 percent to about 4.4 million bpd, with most supplies coming from the Middle East, followed by Africa and Latin America.

Indian fuel demand typically eases in the third quarter as monsoon rains hit construction, industrial activity and reduces consumption of transport fuels. That provides refiners with an opportunity to carry out maintenance.

Capacity addition is also driving up India’s oil imports.

The country added 170,000 bpd of capacity at plants o....

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