TEHRAN (Press TV) - An Indian refiner says it is scouring the world for ultra-heavy crude oil which is becoming short in supply because of intensified U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela.
The United States is aggressively pushing its oil on customers around the world after sanctioning Iran and Venezuela in what is seen by many observers as an energy war in the wider context of its trade war.
However, many traditional oil buyers are used to certain grades and their refineries are configured to process a large percentage of heavy, high sulfur crude in order to produce large quantities of gasoline, and low amounts of heavy fuel oil.
Such consumers have often invested in more complex refinery configurations which allow them to use cheaper feedstock and have a higher processing capability.
Vice-president of India’s Nayara Energy Ltd Ashutosh S Deshpande says complex refineries are having a hard time as supplies of heavy and sour crude are tightening because of the US sanctions.
"Iran and Venezuela have taken 3.5 million barrels per day out of the market,” he said during a panel session at the Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference (APPEC) in Singapore, referring to the impact of the restrictions.
"The market for sour grades and heavies has become more tight,” Reuters quoted him as saying.
Nayara Energy, formerly Essar Oil and now part-owned by a consortium led by Russian oil major Rosneft, operates a 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery at Vadinar in India’s west coast.