Iran: India heeds US call to halt oil purchase

India has ceased buying Iran’s crude oil as hoped by the United States as data from the industry and shipping sources show sharp decrease in oil imports last month.

Oil imports from Iran in June dropped by 16 per cent to reach 592,800 barrels per day (bpd) compared with May data.

The move, officials said, is a prelude to a complete halt of the purchase of crude oil from Iran before August when the United States is expected to impose new sanctions on the Islamic Republic following Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.

“Trump administration will push for zero crude, condensate and products exports from Iran,” Sri Paravaikkarasu, Head of East of Suez Oil at energy consultancy FGE told Reuters.

“The zero tolerance policy and the pace with which it is moving no doubt concerns Iran’s current crude buyers.”

Two Indian private refiners Nayara Energy and Reliance Industries Ltd plan to halt Iranian oil imports, Reuters reports.

The two refiners cut significantly in June their purchase of Iranian oil, some sources who did not want to be named told Reuters.

India’s overall oil import increased by 10.1 per cent to reach 4.82 million bpd in comparison to the same period last year.

Purchase from Mexico, United States, Azerbaijan and Middle East countries soared to make for the decrease in the intake from Iran.

Ahead of the June decrease, imports from Iran shot up during the first six months of the year, by 8.4 per cent to 585,000 bpd.

From April to June 2018, the first quarter of this fiscal year, India’s oil imports from Iran rose by about 24 percent from the previous quarter to about 647,000 bpd, Reuters reports.

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