Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the nation's largest oil firm, has renewed a deal to buy up to 2 million tonnes of crude oil in 2022 from Russia's Rosneft, the Russian oil producer is quoted by the news agency PTI as saying.

“IOC had in February 2020 signed a deal with Rosneft Oil Company to import up to 2 million tonnes of oil via the port of Novorossiysk. In 2021, the deal envisaged supply of up to 1.7 million tonnes of crude oil but IOC bought just on parcel or shipload as the cost of transporting the oil made it uneconomical, when compared to alternatives”, the PTI report states.

The same report points out that the deal is for the supply of up to 2 million tonnes of oil from the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk in 2022

Notably,India has tied up supplies from Russia to the US in a bid to diversify its oil import basket, cutting reliance on the Middle East to meet its oil needs.

"Rosneft and IOC signed a contract for the supply of up to 2 million tonnes of oil to India through the port of Novorossiysk by the end of 2022," the Russian firm said on its website.

The signing took place during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to India, during which he met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and held bilateral talks in an expanded format.

The leaders of the two countries, the statement said, attach great importance to the development of all-around trade, economic and investment cooperation. Energy is one of the key areas of interaction between the companies of the two countries.

"The signing of a new contract for the supply of oil confirms the strategic nature of the long-term partnership between Rosneft and Indian Oil," said Igor Sechin, Chief Executive Officer of Rosneft.

"It is important that cooperation between the companies develops in an integral format and covers the entire technological chain - from extraction to the sale of raw materials. I hope that our interaction with Indian Oil will develop within the framework of other projects." 

India's Ministry of External Affairs, listing out the 28 agreements signed during Putin's visit, said the crude oil supply agreement "seeks to renew the previous contract between Rosneft and IOC".

IOC also signed a Statement of Intent of Collaboration with Russian petrochemicals company SIBUR to explore the feasibility of setting up a dual-feed cracker along with downstream units at its 15 million tonnes a year Paradip refinery in Odisha, the MEA said.

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