* IOC buys 1 mln barrels of Canadian light, sweet White Rose
* Joins private refiners Reliance, Essar in taking Canadian
* IOC also buy 2 mln bbls of W.African crude for Jan
By Nidhi Verma
NEW DELHI, Nov 21 Indian Oil Corp
became India's first state-refiner to buy Canadian oil, further
evidence that trade routes have been redrawn by the U.S. shale
IOC joined private Indian refiners Reliance Industries
and Essar Oil in buying Canadian oil.
Rising U.S. shale oil output is re-routing the flow of Algerian,
Canadian and West African crudes, which used to flow regularly
to the United States.
India's biggest refiner bought one million barrels of the
Canadian White Rose light, sweet crude through a tender from
trader Glencore, trade sources said.
"The U.S. is not buying, so they have to find alternatives,"
said a Singapore-based trader. "The U.S. is full of light, sweet
crude, so they have to find a home for their crude elsewhere."
IOC also bought a very large crude carrier of West African
oil - containing a million barrels each of Nigerian Bonga and
Bonny Light crude - from Vitol for January loading, they said.
Reliance, owner of the world's biggest refining complex and
widely known for testing new varieties of oil, in October last
year imported a parcel of Canadian heavy oil Cold Lake.
Essar imported the Cold Lake grade in January.
"U.S. refiners are now processing more tight oil so some
volumes of regional crudes like that from Canada are displaced
and finding markets like China and India," said one of the trade
IOC has been diversifying its oil sourcing ahead of the
start-up of its 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) Paradip refinery
on the east coast next year.
Diversification of oil sources has become more urgent as
Western sanctions over Tehran's nuclear programme squeeze
imports from Iran, once India's second-biggest supplier.
Supplies from Libya and Sudan have also been disrupted.
This year IOC added Dubai and Qatar to its term oil
suppliers' list for the first time. It is also in talks with
Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil for term deals.
In September, IOC received a trial cargo of Colombia's
Castilla and Vasconia grades through private negotiations with
IOC, which along with subsidiary Chennai Petroleum
controls about 31 percent of India's oil refining capacity of
4.3 million bpd, aims to buy a trial cargo of Brazil's Marlim
grade in the fiscal year ending in March.
(Additional reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen in Singapore;
Editing by Tom Hogue)