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Indian refiners preparing to resume crude imports from Iran: Source

A senior Indian official has said that oil refiners in the country have already started preparing for a resumption of crude imports from Iran as they expect the United States to ease its bans on Tehran in a near future.

“We already have a template for commercial terms and we can very quickly enter into contracts the moment Iran is cleared for exporting oil,” the unidentified source told the PTI news agency in remarks published in the Indian media on Thursday.

The official further said that refiners in India have started preparatory work on crude imports from Iran as they expect to swiftly enter into contracts with Tehran once sanctions are eased.

“Once the sanctions are lifted, we can look to resume oil imports from Iran,” said the official.

The remarks come as India is waiting for a quick return to oil supply arrangement with Tehran that existed before a former US government pulled out of an international nuclear deal with Iran and imposed a series of sweeping bans on the country's oil exports in mid-2018.

India was the second top buyer of Iranian oil after China before the US sanctions were toughened in May 2019. Iran has been among the three main suppliers of oil to India in years before the bans.

New Delhi has relied on other major suppliers in the Middle East including Saudi Arabia and Iraq to compensate for the lost supplies from Iran in recent years.

However, Indian refiners are eager to resume imports from Iran both because of better contractual arrangements and also due to lower freight costs on shorter voyage.

Iran has re-entered indirect talks with the United States to revive the 2015 nuclear deal although Tehran insists it would fully adhere to the deal once the US lifts all its sanctions and return to full compliance with the agreement.

Source: Press TV

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