After U.S. threatened sanctions for buying Iranian oil, India stepped up imports of Venezuelan, U.S. and Saudi oil. In June, India imported the highest volume of Venezuelan crude in 21 months.
Sources attribute this surge to delayed cargo from previous months. However, U.S. had assured its allies that private Indian refiners had stopped buying Venezuelan oil. Reports say that two private refiners, Reliance Industries and Naraya Energy continue to purchase oil.
The Trump government is against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s regime and has been threatening him with more U.S. sanctions to cut off revenue streams. According to Reuters, Washington views Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate leader.
India had been one of Iran’s major crude importers, but was forced to look for other sources when the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Iranian oil exports. The head of Indian Oil Corporation, Sanjiv Singh said India has ceased oil imports from Iran. U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo during his India visit said there is a shared understanding of threat and a common purpose to ensure to keep energy at the right price and deter the Iranian threat.
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Meanwhile, Saudi Aramco is looking at investing in India’s refineries and other petrochemical projects. The Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, during his visit to India earlier this year had said India was the top priority for the world’s biggest crude oil producer, Saudi Aramco. Saudi Energy Minister, Khalid al-Falih said Saudi had an enormous appetite for business in India and it wanted more than the refining joint venture.