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India’s Crude Oil imports hit record high in September

India imported a record 4.83 million barrels per day (bpd) of Crude Oil in September as several refiners resumed operations after extensive maintenance to meet rising local fuel demand.

The world’s third-biggest oil importer shipped in 10% more oil last month than a year earlier and about 19% more than in the previous month according to ship-tracking data.

Maintenance turnaround at some refineries led to Indian Oil Corp deferring the shutdown of its 300,000 bpd coastal Paradip refinery to April-March.

The country added 170,000 bpd of capacity at plants owned by Bharat Petroleum Corp and HPCL-Mittal Energy, which are gradually ramping up crude runs.

During the first nine months of the year, India’s oil imports rose 1.8% to about 4.4 million bpd, with most supplies coming from the Middle East, followed by Africa and Latin America.

India, which imports about 80 percent of its oil needs, has emerged as a key driver for growth in global oil demand.

The South Asian nation is set to surpass China as the fastest-growing oil products market in Asia, with fuel demand growing by 6.1% in 2018, according to a recent report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.