India's Oil Imports From Russia Hits New Record High in December

India's relationship with Russia is proving to be an increasingly important one when it comes to energy. In December, India imported a record-breaking 1 million barrels of oil from Russia, marking the first time that this milestone has been reached. Read on to find out more about India’s increased reliance on Russian oil and what this shift could mean for the future of energy in the country.


India's oil imports from Russia hit a new record high in December, according to data released by the Indian government on Wednesday.

The data showed that India imported 1.6 million tons of oil from Russia in December, up from 1.4 million tons in November. This is the highest level of Indian oil imports from Russia on record.

The significant increase in Indian oil imports from Russia comes as global oil prices have been on the rise in recent months. Brent crude, the international benchmark for crude oil prices, was trading at around $62 per barrel on Wednesday morning, up from around $50 per barrel in early December.

Russia is one of India's top suppliers of crude oil, and the two countries have been working to deepen their energy ties in recent years. In October, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited India and signed a number of energy deals between the two countries, including an agreement for Russia to build a new nuclear power plant in India.

Overview of India’s Oil Imports from Russia

India is the world’s third-largest oil importer, and its imports from Russia have been steadily rising in recent years. In December 2018, India imported a record 4.15 million barrels of oil from Russia, up from 3.75 million barrels in November and 3.11 million barrels in December 2017.

This increase is due to a number of factors, including India’s growing demand for oil, Russia’s increasing production, and the fact that Indian refiners are able to process Russian crude oil more easily than some other types of crude.

The increase in Indian oil imports from Russia is good news for both countries. For India, it means access to a stable and reliable source of oil at a time when global oil prices are volatile. For Russia, it means increased export revenues and a strengthened economic relationship with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

Reasons for Increased Imports

In December, India imported a record amount of oil from Russia, totaling 4.15 million barrels. This is an increase of nearly 20% from the 3.47 million barrels imported in November, and marks a new high for Indian oil imports from Russia.

1) India is the world's second-largest importer of crude oil, behind only China. In recent years, Indian oil imports have been growing at a rapid pace as the country's economy expands.

2) Russia is one of the largest suppliers of crude oil to India. In fact, Russia has been India's top supplier of crude oil for the past two years.

3) The two countries have been working to deepen their energy cooperation in recent years. In 2016, they signed a landmark deal that will see Russia build a $12 billion nuclear power plant in India.

4) The price of crude oil has been rising in recent months, which has likely contributed to the increased Indian imports from Russia. Crude oil prices hit a two-year high in December on concerns about global supply disruptions.

5) Finally, India may be seeking to diversify its sources of crude oil amid tensions with neighboring Pakistan. Earlier this year, Pakistan briefly halted shipments of Iranian crude oil to India after Iran failed to meet its contractual obligations. This led to concerns about potential supply disruptions and may have prompted India to look for alternative suppliers like Russia.

Impact on India’s Economy

In December, India's oil imports from Russia hit a new record high. This is good news for the Indian economy, as it indicates that the country is diversifying its sources of oil imports. This is important because it reduces India's dependence on Middle Eastern oil, which can be subject to supply disruptions.

The increased oil imports from Russia are also helping to boost bilateral trade between the two countries. In December, bilateral trade between India and Russia totaled $11.4 billion, up from $10.6 billion in November. This increase in trade is benefiting both countries and is a sign of the growing economic ties between them.

Challenges Faced in the Future

The challenges that India faces in the future with regards to its oil imports from Russia are threefold. Firstly, India is heavily reliant on Russian oil, with over 80% of its imports coming from the country. This dependence leaves India vulnerable to any potential disruptions in the supply of Russian oil. Secondly, the price of oil is volatile and subject to international politics. This means that India could be at the mercy of other countries when it comes to pricing. Finally, there is the issue of transportation. Russia is a long way from India, and so transporting the oil is expensive and can be logistically difficult.


India's oil imports from Russia have seen a significant increase over the past year and hit a new record high in December. This demonstrates both increased demand for Russian crude oil, as well as India’s efforts to diversify its sources of energy supply. As international tensions rise, it is important for countries to ensure their energy security by relying on multiple suppliers. India has shown that it is taking steps to protect itself from any potential disruptions in the global market and will continue to do so.
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