India's top buyer of Iran oil Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals turns to Azeri, Saudi
NEW DELHI: India's biggest buyer of Iranian oil, MRPL, has bought Azeri, Saudi and Emirati crude to replace imports from Iran in July and it may halt purchases from Tehran altogether as sanctions make shipments more difficult, industry sources said on Monday.
Loss of exports to Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals (MRPL) would be a blow to Iran, which has seen overseas sales decline by more than half from a year ago due to US and European Union sanctions.
The sanctions against Iran's nuclear programme, which the West thinks is aimed at making weapons, are meant to cut the country's oil revenues.
"MRPL has initiated steps to halt its imports from Iran. It is facing problems on a daily basis ... government pressure, sanctions and the latest is Iran's threat to shut the Strait of Hormuz," said one of the sources,
The source declined to detail the steps MRPL was taking. The refiner has been forced to restrict its lifting from Iran to a fifth of the planned 3.3 million barrels per day (bpd) in July.
Iran over the weekend renewed its threat to close the Strait of Hormuz unless sanctions against it were revoked. Flows through the Strait last year accounted for about 35 per cent of all sea-borne traded oil, or almost 20 per cent of oil traded worldwide.
MRPL has signed a two-month deal with Azerbaijan after shipments from Tehran were hit in July, besides buying an additional cargo each from its existing suppliers United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, to offset Iranian supply cuts.
The Indian refiner has an annual deal to lift 40,000 bpd from the UAE and 49,000 bpd from Saudi Aramco.
MRPL's move highlights the gradual increase in share of non-Iranian supplies in the world's fourth-biggest oil importer's crude basket and the emergence of new trade routes as Tehran's exports decline.
Source : economictimes.indiatimes.com