India is yet to take a call on complying with the USA sanctions on Iran. India is yet to take a call on complying with the U.S. sanctions on Iran. It was India's second biggest supplier of crude oil after Saudi Arabia till 2010-11. It has also been hoping that the United States will give it some relief from the sanctions.
Earlier, India was looking at the possibility of falling back on the rupee-rial arrangement for importing oil from Iran in the wake of U.S. sanctions.
India wants to keep importing oil from Iran, because Tehran offers some discounts and incentives for Indian buyers at a time when the Indian government is struggling with higher oil prices and weakening local currency that additionally weighs on its oil import bill.
"India has long sought to develop Iran's Chabahar port, which would give India direct access to Afghanistan and Central Asia without relying on transit routes through Pakistan", the report said. UCO Bank had in the previous round of sanctions handled rupee payments.
Work was slowed by the difficulty equipment suppliers had in obtaining financing for the project, a outcome of hesitancy among banks about whether the United States might still try to sanction the project.
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India is looking to win waivers, and its Iranian imports this month and next are expected to be 45 percent lower than the average between April and August-360,000 bpd-370,000 bpd for September/October compared to 658,000 bpd for April-August, according to data from trade sources obtained by Reuters.
India has already begun shipping wheat to Afghanistan through this new port.
India had planned to import about 25 million tons of crude oil from Iran in the current fiscal, up from 22.6 million tons imported in 2017-18. New Delhi has said that technical configuration of many refiners makes it dependent on Iran.
India may revert to paying Iran in rupees for the oil it buys from its third largest supplier as U.S. sanctions will from November 4 block use of United States dollars to settle such trades, a top official said Thursday.
The US' sanctions on the import of Iranian petroleum products will be effective from November 4. Washington is pushing allies to cut Iranian oil imports to zero once the sanctions on the petroleum sector start up on November 4.