• India’s oil imports from Iran top 500000 bpd in 2016/17

    India’s Iran oil imports jumped to a record high in 2016/17 topping half-a-million barrels per day as refiners boosted purchases after lifting of sanctions previous year. Refiners shipped in about 541,000 bpd of Iranian oil in the 2016-17 financial year, a growth of about 115 per cent over the previous year. Iran was India’s second biggest oil supplier – a position now belonging to Iraq – before economic sanctions aimed at Iran’s nuclear programme hampered its trade relations, forcing the South Asian nation to tap alternative suppliers.

    Reliance Industries, Hindustan Petroleum, Bharat Petroleum and HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd (HMEL) were among Indian refiners that resumed imports from Tehran following the removal of anti-Tehran sanctions. India’s two largest crude oil importers from Tehran will cut their import from five million to four million tonnes in 2017-2018, reported the Indian Express, in an attempt to put pressure on Tehran to award the rights to develop the 12.5 trillion cubic feet discovery to the Indian state owned oil and gas company ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL).

    National Iranian Oil Co. will cut the credit period on crude oil sales to 60 days from 90 days for refiners such as Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. and Indian Oil Corp., the people said, asking not be identified as the matter isn’t public yet. International Olympic Committee and MRPL – largest state buyers of Iranian crude – will cut imports from Tehran to 4 million tonnes in 2017-18 from 5 million tonnes in the previous year.

    While the European Union and United Nations lifted sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme more than a year ago, the United States has held separate measures in place and President Donald Trump’s administration has promised a tough line. Overall, India’s oil imports rose 4.7 percent in March from the previous month and by about 4.9 percent from a year ago, the report added. India is Iran’s second-biggest customer and the emerging center of global oil demand.

    Oil market sources say Iran has sold all the oil it had stored at sea for years – a sign of the country’s positive performance in marketing its vital crude oil supplies. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries pledged to reduce output by about 1.2 million bpd, but Iran was allowed a small increase to compensate for years of isolation. Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said “there are many other customers” if India decides to cut imports, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported on April 5. Iran and India were aiming to conclude an agreement on developing the field by February.

    Richard Mallinson, analyst for Energy Aspects, believes it is nearly inevitable that exports will now decline: “We do think that (floating storage) has been the primary cause of the boost in exports; we see a very hard path for Iran to raise crude output until it can get the Western expertise and investment back into the upstream, which has been notably slow to materialize”. “Their proposal was not profitable to Iran“. OVL has submitted a revised master development plan of over Dollars 5 billion for developing the field. Chad Thomas Jersey

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