Policy

India to continue oil imports, for now

Our Bureau Agencies New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

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Despite US sanctions, India has not asked its refiners to reduce crude oil imports from Iran, according to the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.

India is, however, looking for alternative supplies. Iran meets 12 per cent of India's needs. MRPL is the largest importer of Iranian crude oil at about 150,000 barrels a day.

Washington imposed additional sanctions on Iran last month, and the European Union will have a meeting on January 23 to decide on whether to embargo Iran's oil. Iran has threatened to retaliate against the West by closing the Strait of Hormuz.

The US now also has a law allowing penalties on foreign banks that settle oil import bills with Iran's central bank.

The law provides waivers to firms in countries that significantly reduce crude oil supplies from Iran. India may seek that waiver or consider going in for a barter system.

A delegation will visit Tehran from January 16 to explore alternative routes of payment. Brent crude rose more than $1 a barrel on Thursday on worries that a showdown between Iran and the West and a strike in Nigeria could disrupt oil supplies, reports Reuters.

> richam@thehindu.co.in

Published on January 12, 2012

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