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India to cut Iran crude import

Posted on Jan 14 2014 | IANS

Greater Noida (Uttar Pradesh), Jan 14 : India will lower its crude oil imports from Iran by 15 percent to around 9-9.5 million metric tonnes (mmt) during fiscal year 2014-2015, a senior government official said Tuesday.

"Essar Oil and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals (MPRL) are expected to end the current fiscal year with imports of 4-4.5 mmt each, and Indian Oil Corp. will import around 1 mmt," R.K Singh, joint secretary (refineries) at the petroleum ministry, told reporters at the Petrotech 2014 international oil and gas conference here.

The estimate of imports in 2013-14 is for around 11 mmt which is down, if U.S. and European Union sanctions remain in place, from 13.3 million mt imported in fiscal year 2012-2013.

The cut is in line with the 15 percent cut annually countries have to show to be eligible for US waiver from sanctions against Iran.

The recent agreement between Iran and the six world powers, which comes into effect Jan 20, gives Iran limited sanctions relief in return for some concessions on the nuclear programme. Concessions offered to Iran include halting the reduction of Iran's exports of crude oil to the six countries still purchasing from Iran.

In a roundtable at Petrotech 2014, a senior external affairs ministry official said all ideas regarding energy cooperation including a pipeline for hydrocarbon transfer from Iran are being considered by the government.

"Every idea, including pipeline from Iran continues to be on the table for discussions," Ajay Bisaria, joint secretary (Eurasia) at the external affairs ministry, told participants.

"When you speak of energy and pipelines, politics is short term and sanctions are there for two-three years, but for pipelines one is speaking in terms of fifty years," Bisaria said.

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