Asia Oil Newsletter (AON)


Indian Crude Oil Imports Rise to 4-Year High in March

(By Financial Express, 28 March 2024)

India’s crude oil imports rose to 5.2 mmbd in March, the highest level since early 2020 amid increased refinery runs by the Indian refiners. Imports were 11% higher, m-o-m and up 4.5% y-o-y. Additionally, its imports from Russia rose to 1.8 mmbd in March, highest after the July of last year primarily on the back of higher discharge of Urals.

India Cuts Back on Venezuelan Oil Amid Imminent US Sanctions

(By Financial Express, 27 March 2024)

Indian refiners have stopped purchases of Venezuelan crude oil amid the looming US sanctions on the tankers from the south American nation and may not revive the trade with it at least until they see signs of full snapback. During January to March, India imported only 100,000 bpd of crude oil from Venezuela, accounting for only 2% of the country’s total crude imports, as per Vortexa’s data.

Indian Refiners Buy More US Crude As Russia Sanctions Tighten

(By Reuters, 26 March 2024)

As per ship tracking data, more than 250,000 bpd of US crude is set to arrive in India during April, the highest in more than a year amid tighter enforcement of sanctions on Russian crude. Last month, the US tightened efforts to reduce Russia’s oil trade adding sanctions on state-owned shipping firm Sovcomflot and 14 crude oil tankers involved in Russian oil transportation.

India Allows ADNOC to Export Oil from Strategic Storage Reserves

(By Economic Times, 23 March 2024)

At present, crude oil is not allowed to be exported except through the state-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). In an order, the ministry said the condition of export being allowed only through IOC will continue, but ADNOC is exempted from STE conditions and is allowed to re-export crude oil from their commercial stockpile at Mangalore strategic petroleum reserve, at their own cost.


The Axis of Evasion: Behind China’s Oil Trade with Iran and Russia

(By Atlantic Council, 28 March 2024)

Oil revenue is a lifeline for the Iranian and Russian economies, but Western sanctions have jeopardized both countries’ ability to ship oil and receive payments. In response, Iran and Russia have redirected oil shipments to China—the world’s largest importer of crude oil. In 2023, China saved a reported ten billion dollars by purchasing crude oil from sanctioned countries such as Iran and Russia.

TotalEnergies and SINOPEC to Produce Sustainable Jet Fuel at SINOPEC Refinery

(By Chemanalyst, 27 March 2024)

TotalEnergies and SINOPEC have inked a Heads of Agreement to collaboratively establish a Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) production unit at one of SINOPEC’s refineries in China. This unit is slated to have the capacity to manufacture 230,000 tons of SAF annually, utilizing local waste or residues sourced from the circular economy, such as cooking oils and animal fats.

Russia Struggles to Collect Oil Payments as China, UAE Raise Bank Scrutiny

(By Reuters, 27 March 2024)

Several banks in China, the UAE and Turkey have boosted their sanctions compliance requirements in recent weeks, resulting in delays or even the rejection of money transfers to Moscow. Banks, cautious of the US secondary sanctions, started to ask their clients to provide written guarantees that no person or entity from the US Special Designated Nationals list is involved in a deal or is a beneficiary of a payment.

Sinopec 2023 Profit Falls 13% on Oil prices, Refining Record

(By Business Times, 24 March 2024)

China Petroleum & Chemical reported 58.3 billion yuan (S$11 billion) net income for last year, compared with 66.2 billion yuan in 2022. Global oil prices were 17% lower in 2023 than the previous year, which reduced the value of Sinopec’s drilling output but also lowered its crude costs. The company also had to grapple with a tepid economic recovery that created a glut of some chemicals such as ethylene.

South Korea:

South Korea and US Team Up to Enforce North Korea Oil Sanctions

(By Oil Price, 27 March 2024)

South Korea and the US have joined forces to try and stop oil shipments to North Korea that contravene UN sanctions. As per reports, Russia was shipping fuels directly to North Korea in violation of UN sanctions. “Oil is an essential resource for North Korea’s nuclear and missile development and military posture,” said the South Korean foreign ministry in a statement this week.


Asian Imports of Russian Crude Oil to Hit a 10-Month High in March

(By Oil Price, 28 March 2024)

This month, higher arrivals of Russian crude to the top-importing markets in Asia are set to boost Asian crude imports to 27.48 mmbpd, which would be the highest level in 10 months. The higher arrivals would also be the result of oil prices below $80 per barrel at the time when cargoes were nominated and purchased.

Traders Are Buying Oil At The Fastest Rate Since 2020

(By Oil Price, 26 March 2024)

After months of skepticism, traders seem to have finally realized that OPEC+ is serious about keeping crude oil supply constrained. In the week ending 19 March, traders bought the equivalent of 140 million barrels across the six most traded crude and fuel contracts. Crude was the most bought with 57 million barrels in WTI changing hands during that week along with 55 million barrels of Brent crude.

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