Indian oil refiner part-owned by Iranian company cancels Iran oil imports

21 Setiembre, 2018, 06:58 | Author: Arnold Perez
  • India Will Import Iranian Oil; In Talks With EU Over Payment Option

The United States-which is pushing to have all Iranian oil customers stop importing crude from Tehran-is looking for alternative oil supplies for its allies whose imports will be disrupted by the US sanctions on Iran, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, citing a senior USA administration official.

The remaining 45 per cent payment was remitted in rupees in accounts Iranian oil companies had with the UCO Bank.

Japanese refiners have temporarily suspended oil imports from Iran, buying alternative supplies and watching the situation closely should waivers be forthcoming, the president of the Petroleum Association of Japan (PAJ), Takashi Tsukioka, said on Thursday. During the previous sanctions regime, India adopted a barter-like scheme to buy oil from Iran while the Middle Eastern country used rupees to import goods from India. India is yet to take a call on complying with the United States sanctions on Iran. Washington is pushing allies to cut Iranian oil imports to zero once the sanctions on the petroleum sector start up on November 4.

In May, the Trump administration had pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and brought back economic sanctions against Tehran.

The official said Iran is open to accepting rupee payment for oil and may use the money to pay for equipments and food items it buys from India.

India is in touch with both Iran and the U.S. on the complex issue.

Reuters in June reported that India is looking to revive the its earlier rupee payment mechanism with Iran.

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UCO Bank handled oil payments when the first round of sanctions came into effect in 2011. These channels would get blocked from November.

South Korea did not import any Iranian oil in August, compared to 194,000 bpd in imports from Iran in July, according to tanker-tracking and shipping data compiled by Bloomberg.

During the first round of sanctions when European Union joined the U.S. in imposing financial restrictions, India initially used a Turkish bank to pay Iran for the oil it bought but beginning February 2013 paid almost half of the oil import bill in rupees while keeping the remainder pending opening of payment routes.

However, India has been apprising the U.S. about its energy requirement to fuel its economy as well as the importance of Iranian oil.

It was India's second biggest supplier of crude oil after Saudi Arabia till 2010-11 but Western sanctions over its suspected nuclear programme relegated it to the seventh spot in the subsequent years.

In the following year, the Iranian supplies jumped to 27.2 MT to catapult it to the third spot.

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