Moscow remained New Delhi’s main crude supplier for the third consecutive month.
Russia supplied the South Asian country with 1.19 million barrels per day in December, up from 909,403 bpd of crude in November and 935,556 bpd in October 2022.
The previous record for India’s oil imports from Russia was last June, when India bought 942,694 bpd, according to Vortexa.
Russia overtook traditional sellers as Iraq and Saudi Arabia for the first time in October 2022 and now accounts for 25 percent of all oil imported by India, the third largest oil consuming and importing country.
Indian imports peaked when the European Union agreed a price cap for Russian seaborne fuel.
The South Asian nation buys 85 percent of the crude it needs, then transforms it into fuels like gasoline and diesel at its refineries.
New Delhi vehemently defends its trade with Moscow, saying it has to buy oil where it is cheapest.
Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar declared in December before the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of Parliament) that domestic refineries will continue to seek the best deals in the country’s interest.
‘We don’t ask our companies to buy Russian oil. We ask our companies to buy oil (based on) the best deal they can get. Now, it depends on what the market throws in’, Foreign Minister Jaishankar told lawmakers.