Huge Indian refiner Reliance Industries is reportedly no longer accepting Russian crude carried on Sovcomflot (SCF Group) tankers.

Two sources told Reuters the company, which operates the world’s biggest refining complex, has been deterred by recent US sanctions against the state-controlled Russian shipowner.

Reliance is a large buyer of Russian Urals oil.

The refiner has asked that new cargoes be shipped on other vessels, one source said.

Neither Reliance nor Sovcomflot have commented.

But the move shows the growing pressure on Russia to find a home for its exports.

Earlier this month, the threat of US sanctions prompted a Turkish terminal to halt imports of Russian oil on tankers.

The midsize Mediterranean facility at Dortyol received record Russian volumes in 2023 but has told clients it will not accept any more cargoes.

Global Terminal Services, the terminal operator, said the ban applies even to cargoes not breaching any sanctions or regulations.

India and Turkey have been among the biggest importers of crude and fuel from Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

In February, the US slapped sanctions on Sovcomflot and 14 crude tankers involved in Russian oil trades.

Indian government and refining sources said more domestic refiners are planning to refuse the use of Sovcomflot ships.

They are being extra cautious in the face of US scrutiny.

“Our preference is that refiners should not take oil in sanctioned vessels, because of our political and commercial interests and the US sanctions,” one of the sources in India’s government told Reuters.

A refining source explained that Russian imports could fall as the pool of available vessels shrinks, increasing freight costs.

“SCF actively offer their vessels, but traders are wary of fixing any as buyers and even ports may reject the cargo,” one trader said.

More Sovcomflot tankers are now heading to China instead, the trader added.