India set to pay for Iranian oil using rupee from November

21 Septembre, 2018, 06:58 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Crude Oil

As the U.S. sanctions on import of Iranian crude oil loom large, India is engaged with the European Union for an alternative channel for making payments to Tehran for buying petroleum products, sources said Wednesday.

"We have told the Indians consistently, as we have told every nation, that on November 4th the sanctions with respect to Iranian crude oil will be enforced, and that we will consider waivers where appropriate, but that it is our expectation that the purchases of Iranian crude oil will go to zero from every country, or sanctions will be imposed", Secretary Pompeo said, noting that many countries would need "a little bit of time to unwind". This has forced the refiner to cancel a scheduled loading of 1 million barrels in October, they said.

Tsukioka, who also serves as chairman of refiner Idemitsu Kosan, however, did not comment on the details of each refiner's reaction.

Reuters in June reported that India is looking to revive the its earlier rupee payment mechanism with Iran.

In May, US President Donald Trump pulled out of an worldwide nuclear deal with Iran and announced new sanctions against the country, the third-largest producer among the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

As the US-led sanctions are set to take into effect in November, the Indian government has been ordered to completely wind down its purchases of Iranian oil or risk violating sanctions.

The official said Iran is open to accepting rupee payment for oil and may use the money to pay for equipments and food items it buys from India. India is the second-largest buyer of Iranian crude oil, which is cheaper than oil sourced from other countries.

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India is in touch with both Iran and the United States on the complex issue.

UCO Bank had in the previous round of sanctions handled rupee payments. These channels would get blocked from November. It began clearing the dues in 2015 when the restrictions were eased.

South Korea did not import any Iranian oil in August, compared to 194,000 bpd in imports from Iran in July, according to tanker-tracking and shipping data compiled by Bloomberg.

"Previously we settled 45 percent of our trade in rupees this time it could be 100 percent".

However, India has been apprising the U.S. about its energy requirement to fuel its economy as well as the importance of Iranian oil. India is the second-biggest client of Iran and sources almost one-tenth of its crude supplies from there.

Iran is India's third largest oil supplier after Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

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