Iran offers to meet India’s energy needs

Mumbai, Mar 20:

Iran has offered to help India meet its energy needs by relaunching rupee-rial trade for export of oil and gas, said Iranian ambassador to India Ali Chegeni.

Chegeni said if both the countries resume rupee-rial trade, bilateral trade can touch USD 30 billion.

India’s crude imports in February rose to 4.86 million barrels per day (bpd) as refiners cranked up runs to meet the increasing demand on better refining margins, Reuters has reported.

Oil imports were up 24% from a low base in February 2021, when a refinery at Bathinda was fully shut for maintenance.

Iran used to be India’s second largest oil supplier but New Delhi had to halt imports after the former US president Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran and re-imposed sanctions on its oil exports.

Iran further feels “a rupee-rial trade mechanism can help companies from both the countries deal with each other directly and avoid third-party intermediation costs.”

Indian refiners typically buy oil two months ahead of processing. Refiners are raising runs to cash in on high margins to offset some of the losses incurred for selling fuels in the local markets.

India ships in more than 80% of its crude needs and relies heavily on the Middle East.

Iraq continued to be the top oil supplier to India followed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

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