India

Indian govt studying implications of U.S. decision on Iran oil sanctions

The Indian government is studying the implications of the U.S. decision to withdraw waivers it had granted for oil import from Iran, an External Affairs Ministry official said.

“We will make a statement at an appropriate time,” the official said.

“Today I am announcing that we will no longer grant any exemptions,” Mr. Pompeo said at a press conference on Monday. “We are going to zero across the board. We will continue to enforce sanctions and monitor compliance. Any nation or entity interacting with Iran should do its diligence and err on the side of caution. The risks are simply not going to be worth the benefits.”

“We have used the highest possible care in our decision to ensure market stability,” Mr. Pompeo added. “The U.S. has been in constant discussion with allies and partners to help them transition away from Iranian crude to other alternatives. And we have been working with major oil producing countries to ensure the market has sufficient volume to minimise the impact on pricing.”

He said that both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have assured the U.S. that they will ensure an “appropriate supply” for the markets.

While India has been reducing its oil imports from Iran, it has several other options for the import of oil, a senior official in the Petroleum Ministry told The Hindu , adding that no decision has yet been taken on oil imports from Iran for the month of May. Iran was India’s seventh largest supplier of oil in January 2019. It was the third largest in January last year.

“India has agreements with many countries regarding oil and so one should not be worried about our energy security,” the official said. “India’s future energy policy will be decided following a discussion with all stakeholders, including the oil companies.”

Under the sanctions, India was allowed to import about 300,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), which works out to a little more than nine million barrels per month. Observer Research Foundation, a think-tank tracking and release data on the energy sector on a monthly basis, said that Indian refiners will import eight million barrels of Iranian oil in April, which it added was about 12% lower than the amount imported in March.

India had reportedly been in talks with the U.S. to extend the waiver for the import of 3,00,000 bpd from Iran, but those talks seem to have failed.

In March, Indian Oil Corporation had placed an order for five million barrels, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals for two million barrels, and HPCL and BPCL for one million barrels each. In April, only IOC reduced its order quantity, to four million barrels, while the other refiners kept their level the same.


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Printable version | Oct 5, 2022 6:29:19 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/indian-govt-studying-implications-of-us-decision-on-iran-oil-sanctions/article26914597.ece