NEW DELHI - Indian state refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp will lift 45% more oil from Iraq this year to meet its expanded refining capacity, sources familiar with the matter said.

The refiner will buy 3.2 million tonnes or about 64,000 barrels per day (bpd) from Iraq this year, up from 44,000 bpd in 2021, they said.

Iraqi state-owned marketer SOMO and HPCL did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.

Iraq is the top supplier of oil to India, and higher purchases by HPCL will further strengthen the Middle East nation's share in Indian markets.

As OPEC's second-largest oil producer, Iraq will be able to boost exports by as much as 250,000 bpd from the second quarter after finishing the installation of pumping stations at its Gulf ports, an Iraqi oil source has said.  

Last year HPCL's chairman M K Surana said the company's import of high sulphur crude oil would rise after the expansion of its 166,000-bpd plant at its Vizag plant to 300,000 bpd by March this year.

It aims to complete a bottom upgradation project at the Vizag refinery by the end of the year. 

In the last quarter of 2021, HPCL expanded capacity at its Mumbai refinery to 190,000 bpd.

(Additional reporting by Ahmed Rasheed in Baghdad; Editing by Clarence Fernandez) ((; +91 11 49548031; Reuters Messaging: