Iran crude: MRPL looking at other sourcing options

A. J. Vinayak
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A view of MRPL unit.
A view of MRPL unit.

MRPL has said that it is in the process of evolving alternative arrangements for sourcing crude. This comes in the wake of various issues surrounding import of Iran crude to India.

The annual report for 2011-12 said that the company has been continuously diversifying crude procurement sources by adding more countries. Initially it had only term contracts with Iran.

At present, crude oil is being procured from Saudi, Abu Dhabi, Iran and Kuwait. Bombay High, Nile blend and Sakhalin crude from ONGC group companies are also being procured on arm’s length basis, it said.

During 2011-12, MRPL processed three new crudes from Agambi, Coco and Mellitah.

Mentioning that the company continues to expand the crude basket, the annual report said that MRPL is in the process of evolving alternative arrangements for sourcing crude with the help of other industry members under the guidance of the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

This is in case the US and European sanctions are fully functional and sourcing of Iran crude becomes difficult.

The report said that the company is facing difficulty in remitting for the import of crude oil from Iran due to European Union sanctions and dismantling of Asian Clearing Union by the Reserve Bank of India with effect from December 23, 2010.

India, along with some other countries, has been given waiver by the US from sanctions against Iran to overcome the crisis.

“Due to the impending EU sanctions threat on Iran, it could be possible that vessels would not be available with third party insurance cover from P&I (protection and indemnity) clubs, mostly based out of Europe, when calling Iranian ports. This may affect the availability of tonnage to load cargoes from Iran,” it said.

(This article was published on August 10, 2012)
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