India's Petroleum Trade: An overview and some analysis

I thought of creating one comprehensive diagram that could capture everything about India's Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants (POL) trade for the calendar year 2022. The result is a Sankey diagram you see below (you can zoom it as it's a high res image): 

The domestic production mentioned on the left-hand side pertain to domestically drilled crude oil in India. The data for this is taken from MoPNG's website. The rest of the trade data is from DGCIS. India majorly imports crude and exports refined petroleum products. India has 23 refineries with a total installed capacity of around 250 MT per annum. These refineries process crude oil into various petroleum products that meet domestic as well as international standards and specifications. 

A recent trend that has emerged in India's petroleum trade is the increase in crude oil imports from Russia. The main reason behind this surge in Russian crude oil imports is the geopolitical situation arising from the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The US and its allies imposed sanctions on Russia's energy sector which affected its exports to Europe. As a result, Russia looked for alternative markets for its crude oil. India was one of the attractive destinations for Russian crude oil due to its large market size, strategic partnership with Russia and geographical proximity. In addition, Russia was ready to accept Indian Rupee in place of US Dollars for settling the trade through a special mechanism. 

Some analysis about Russia's POL exports to India: 

Q: Has the imports of POL from Russia gone up after the Russia-Ukraine war began in 2022? 

Ans: Yes. Here are the figures: 

Q: Is Russian oil cheap when compared to other countries from whom India imports?

Ans: It's cheaper than what we get from West Asian countries like Saudi Arab, UAE, Qatar etc in dollar terms. Iraq's prices come close. I divided the value of imports by quantity of imports to get USD/MMT which I think is a good approximation for comparison. Below are the figures for leading countries from whom India imports. 

Q: Did the price fall for Russian crude after the war started? 

Ans: No. The data doesn't support that theory. Here are the numbers: 

The rise in Russian oil prices has kept in line with the average rise in prices of POL. It doesn't appear from the data that India has gained much in terms of price. One may perhaps say that India's ability to pay with INR in place of USD to Russia is a plus, despite the above figures. 

Q: Has India's exports in POL increased in recent times? 

Ans: Yes, both in terms of value and quantity. Also, in terms of the ratio of exports to imports. 

Q: How did I draw the Sankey diagram above?

Ans: Python + plotly. The code is kept at my github page. The link is in the figure. 


  1. Sir, very impressive and clear view for those stakeholders who are engaged in POL fields. Also knowledgeable , who wants to understand the international market scenario. Keep it up.


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