India's crude oil imports from Venezuela are set to resume after a three-year hiatus, following the easing of United States' sanctions on the Latin American country.
As per reports by Indian Express, Reliance Industries (RIL), one of India's private sector giants, has booked three tankers scheduled to load oil from Venezuela in December and January.
The move comes after Washington eased sanctions on Venezuela's oil sector in October, allowing oil exports without limitations for six months.
India, particularly RIL and Nayara Energy, was a regular buyer of Venezuelan crude before the imposition of US sanctions in 2019.
The resumption of oil imports signals a significant shift in the market dynamics, as Venezuela seeks to diversify its customer base beyond its prominent Chinese buyers.
Venezuela, a member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, possesses the world's largest proven oil reserves.
While Venezuelan crude oil has been offered at steep discounts to Chinese independent refiners, the easing of sanctions has attracted interest from other buyers, including India.
Reliance Industries, chartering three super tankers capable of carrying up to 270,000 tonnes of crude oil, is set to become a key player in the renewed trade.
India, the world's third-largest consumer of crude oil, has maintained a flexible approach in sourcing oil, recently increasing imports from Russia after significant discounts were offered following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The move by Reliance Industries into the Venezuelan market is expected to weaken China's dominant position in Venezuelan oil flows.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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