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India Buys 75% Less US Oil, Purchase More Iranian Crude

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 10/6/2018, Location: Asia

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India’s purchases of US crude oil have fallen by 75 percent over the past four months as the subcontinent stocks up on Iranian crude, Reuters has reported.

US oil shipments to India fell to 84,000 barrels per day (bpd) last month, from a record high of 347,000 bpd in June, the news agency reported on Friday, citing traders and shipping intelligence firm Kpler.

Indian buyers instead lifted purchases of Iranian crude to 502,000 bpd in the month, up 111,000 bpd over August, said Reuters which had already claimed that India was cutting Iran oil imports.

India is the second biggest purchaser of Iranian crude after China which also increased shipments from the Middle Eastern country by 29,000 bpd to 620,000 bpd.

According to Kpler, China cut its US purchases amid an ongoing trade spat with the United States.

The rise comes despite a November 4 deadline set by US President Donald Trump for companies to "wind down" their trade with Iran which is to face sanctions on its energy sector.

Reuters separately said that India will buy 9 million barrels of Iranian oil in November, indicating that the world’s third biggest oil importer would continue to buy crude from the Islamic Republic despite the US sanctions.

Indian Oil Corp will lift 6 million barrels of Iranian oil and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd 3 million barrels, it cited a source with the knowledge of the matter as saying.

The Indian government “has conveyed to the Trump administration that India is a fit case for a presidential waiver from the provisions of Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CATSA) on Russia and the sanctions on trade with Iran,” the Hindustan Times reported on Friday.

Last week, the Iranian foreign minister said India is committed to buying Iranian oil and continuing the two nations' economic cooperation after a meeting with his Indian counterpart.

"Our Indian friends have always been categorical in terms of their intention to continue economic cooperation and (the) import of oil from Iran. And I heard the same statement from my Indian counterpart," he said after meeting his Indian counterpart, Sushma Swaraj, in New York.

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