News ID: 232313
Published: 0242 GMT October 05, 2018

India to keep buying Iranian oil despite US sanctions

India to keep buying Iranian oil despite US sanctions

India will buy nine million barrels of Iranian oil in November, two industry sources said, indicating that the world's third-biggest oil importer is to continue purchasing crude from the Islamic Republic despite US sanctions coming into force on November 4.

"Refiners have placed November nominations to lift 1.25 million tons (about 9 million barrels) of oil from Iran," one of the sources said, reported Reuters.

Indian Oil Corp. will lift six million barrels of Iranian oil and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. 3 million barrels, the source told Reuters.

The United States plans to impose new sanctions targeting Iran's oil sector on November 4.

The sources declined to be identified as they were not authorized to speak to the media.

"India is continuing with its relationship with both its key energy partners Iran and the US," a second source said.

Indian refiners imported around 10 million barrels of Iranian oil in October, and its November shipments are expected to be lower.

In the previous round of sanctions, India continued to buy Iranian oil although it had to cut purchases significantly to protect its wider exposure to the US financial system.

India's Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said in May it abides only by sanctions imposed by the United Nations and not those imposed by any other country.

With the European Union considering the creation of a 'special purpose vehicle' before November to facilitate trade with Iran, India hopes to find a way to settle payments to Tehran.

"Previously there was no European channel. This time Europe is not working with the US, so we intend to evolve a mechanism," the second source said.

India, Iran's top client after China, has close diplomatic ties with Iran, where it is building a strategic port called Chabahar that is expected to be operational by 2019.

At the same time, India is closely working with the United States to further its strategic interests.

"It is still early to say how India will settle its trade with Iran," the first source said, adding that India could consider paying Iran for crude in rupees.

 

   
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