India just got its first cargo of the newly introduced Basra Medium crude from Iraq. This report from Reuters was based on a ship tracking data from Refinitiv Eikon along with information coming from a source with knowledge of the matter.
According to the report India's top refiner, Indian Oil Company (IOC), loaded the cargo onto Minerva Kalypso a suezmax-sized vessel that departed Iraq's southern port of Basra on Jan. 4. It is expected to arrive at Chennai port in southeastern India around Jan. 14.
IOC, along with its subsidiary Chennai Petroleum Corp. (CPCL), controls about a third of the 5 million barrels per day (bpd) of refining capacity in India. They have been importing Basra Light and Basra Heavy crude oil from Iraq and have just recently procured Basra Medium for the first time since Iraq introduced the new crude grade in November.
Starting this year IOC will be procuring all three crude export grades from Iraq, sources said.
Analytics firm Kpler stated that the introduction of Basra Medium helps in filling the gap on the shortage of heavy oil globally due to sanctions imposed in Iran and Venezuela, declining productions in Colombia and Mexico and also from that of the OPEC+ quotas.