NEW DELHI: Venezuela's Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Temir Porras Ponceleon said on Wednesday his country is currently supplying 150,000 barrels
per day (bpd) of crude oil to India and there was a potential to raise supplies.
India, Asia's third biggest oil consumer, imports about 76 percent of its crude oil needs.
In a meeting with the visiting Venezuelan minister, Oil Minister Murli Deora sought additional crude oil supplies. Essar Oil and Reliance Industries are India's main buyer of Venezuelan crude, Deora said.
Reliance's sophisticated 1.24 million oil refining complex in Gujarat is capable of processing heavy Venezuelan crude, which is available at a cheaper rate.
"We are ready for extra supplies to other refineries which are duly equipped to receive Venezuelan crude with special characteristics," Ponceleon told reporters after a meeting with Deora in the Indian capital.
He said Venezuela last year earned $4 billion revenues in trade with India, mostly through oil sales, up from $1 billion in 2008. He did not specify the quantity of crude oil his country supplied in 2009.
According to traders estimate, Reliance last year bought about 60,100 bpd
ONGC Videsh managing director R.S. Butola, who was also present at the meeting, said other Indian refiners including MRPL are interested in buying Venezuelan crude.
Butola said Indian consortium of state-run ONGC, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Oil India will sign an agreement for Carabobo-I project on May 12.