India’s imports of crude oil from Iran hit new record since March 2014

India’s imports of crude oil from Iran hit new record since March 2014

HomeOthersBusiness Wed Jun 3, 2015 3:3PM

India’s imports of crude oil from Iran hit a new record last month, reaching their highest level since March 2014.

According to India Times website, the rise in imports came as Indian refiners increased oil purchases from Iran at a time that Tehran is engaged in talks with world powers in a bid to reach a final deal over its peaceful nuclear program by a self-designated deadline at the end of June.

The final deal is expected to end international sanctions against Iran’s energy sector, paving the way for the country to reclaim its share of global energy markets.

According to the report, the recent rise in India’s Iran oil imports to a 14-month high came two months after New Delhi was forced under US pressure to limit its purchase of Iranian crude.

Sanctions against Iran were imposed by the US and European Union at the beginning of 2012, alleging that there was diversion in Iran’s nuclear program toward military objectives. Iran categorically rejected the allegation, noting that its civilian nuclear program is only meant for peaceful purposes.

The Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries – the US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China – reached an interim agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program in the Swiss city of Geneva last November, followed by a statement of mutual understanding on April 2 in the Swiss city of Lausanne, which is considered a prelude to the achievement of a comprehensive deal. A key point of Lausanne statement was a promise to lift a series of economic sanctions on Iran – including those on the country’s energy sector.

India is the world’s fourth biggest consumer of crude oil and Tehran’s top customer after China. The country bought 367,900 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian crude in May, showing an increase of up to 39 percent compared to a month before. The May oil imports also showed a year-on-year increase of about two-thirds.

Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemical Ltd (MRPL) has been Iran’s biggest Indian customer in May, buying a total of about 207,400 bpd of Iranian crude oil.

New figures also showed that Indian Oil Corporation received about a million barrels of Iranian oil in May.

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