Indian Oil Corporation Limited, the country's largest refiner, has bought two new types of US crude for December delivery as it tests different grades from the United States, trade sources said on Tuesday.
IOC bought 1 million barrels each of US Southern Green Canyon (SGC) and WTI Midland crude likely from a Chinese trader, the people said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The purchase was in addition to 2 million barrels of Basra Light crude to be delivered in the same month. The United States has become a new source of crude supply for Asia since Washington lifted a ban on crude exports in late 2015.
India has joined other Asian countries in buying US crude in the fourth quarter to widen its import sources as well as to reduce trade surplus with the United States. IOC has issued another sour crude tender that will close later this week to purchase more oil for the same period, according to a document reviewed by sources.
Officials at IOC weren't available for comment. The refiner has bought about 5.5 million barrels of US crude so far this year. Other Indian refiners to have bought US crude include Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd, Bharat Oman Refinery, Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd and Reliance Industries Ltd.