India’s ONGC Videsh failed to get bids in its tender to sell 700,000 barrels of Russian Sokol crude in a growing backlash against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, sources familiar with the matter said.
This was the first tender by ONGC Videsh since the war in Ukraine began on February 24.
ONGC Videsh, the overseas investment arm of India’s top explorer Oil and Natural Gas Crop, has a 20 per cent stake in Russia’s Sakhalin-1 project and sells its share of oil through tenders.
The tender for the sale of May loading cargo closed on Thursday.
Initially, 11 parties, including oil majors, had shown interest in buying Sokol oil but later “sent a regret”, the sources said.
ONGC Videsh did not respond to a Reuters email seeking comment.
Two sources said ONGC Videsh has an option to bring the cargo to India for processing at refineries owned by its subsidiary Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd.
The United States banned imports of Moscow’s oil and gas on Tuesday, while some Western oil companies, including Shell, have said they will stop buying Russian oil.
No Indian company has publicly withdrawn from Russia, and New Delhi has declined to condemn Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine despite pressure from the United States to do so.
The Kremlin describes its actions in Ukraine as a “special operation” to disarm its neighbour.
Russian firms have encountered problems securing financing for April contracts to sell crude and oil products. Still, the situation can be resolved, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency on Thursday.