By Nidhi Verma
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd has issued a force majeure notice to Iraq's Oil Marketing Company (SOMO) to cancel two oil cargoes as local fuel demand is hit by a lockdown to stem spread of coronavirus, an industry source said.
State-run HPCL was scheduled to lift these cargoes containing one million barrels each in the first half of April, this source said. The source did not wish to be identified citing confidentiality.
No immediate comment was available from HPCL. SOMO could not be immediately reached for comments.
HPCL is the third Indian company to invoke force majeure for crude supplies. Last week two India refiner- Indian Oil Corp and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd have invoked force majeure on crude imports mainly from middle east.
Many Indian refiners have reduced crude processing as fuel demand drops.
HPCL has cut crude processing at its Mumbai refinery by 10%, while it is operating its Vizag refinery at 100% capacity to feed southern Indian market.
(Reporting by Nidhi Verma, editing by Louise Heavens)