India’s top refiner IOC eyes 100% crude processing within a quarter

Indian Oil Corp (IOC) (IOC.NS) said on Friday it was operating its refineries at 90% capacity as diesel sales were yet to reach pre-COVID-19 levels, but it expects to ramp up refining to full capacity within a quarter as demand picks up.

Indian state fuel retailers’ gasoline sales exceeded pre-pandemic levels in the first fortnight of July, as motorists took back to the roads after states eased COVID-19-related lockdowns. read more

Even as a second wave of COVID-19 infections battered the country during April and May, this year’s lockdown restrictions were not as severe as compared to last year, with most states allowing some vehicular movement.

Still, Indian refiners had reduced crude processing during the quarter and curtailed oil purchases amid higher fuel inventories. read more

Diesel sales are still at around 85%-90% of pre-COVID-19 levels and are expected recover by the festival of Diwali in November, Chairman S.M. Vaidya said in a press conference, adding that the refinery runs are also expected to be at 100% capacity by then.

Higher fuel prices also sapped consumption, with India’s tax-heavy retail prices of gasoline and gasoil touching record highs due to a surge in global crude oil prices.

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