Indian Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) has purchased its first cargo of Iranian crude oil since April from the Islamic Republic, its managing director says.
The MRPL’s managing director, P P Upadhya, told Bloomberg on Tuesday that the company, which is India’s biggest buyer of Iranian crude, imported about 85,000 metric tons of crude oil from Iran on August 17.
He added that the refinery has ordered three more shipments of a similar size, but did not mention delivery schedules.
“This is the first cargo we’ve got from Iran this financial year and we’ll see how many more we can import in the rest of the year,” Upadhya said. “The same ship has returned to Iran and will bring the additional cargoes.”
In India, the government’s financial year runs from April 1 to March 31.
According to the report, India has recently provided the MRPL a 20 billion-rupee (314-million-dollar) insurance fund to cover future imports from the Islamic Republic.
India is among Asia’s major importers of energy and relies on Iran to meet a portion of its energy requirements.
Indian refiners HPCL, MRPL and Essar are the main purchasers of Iranian crude oil.
On January 23, 2012, swayed by the United States, the EU foreign ministers approved a round of sanctions against Iran’s oil and financial sectors. The sanctions, which prevent EU member states from purchasing Iran’s oil or extending insurance coverage for tankers carrying Iranian crude, came into effect on July 1, 2012.
The illegal US-engineered sanctions were imposed based on the unfounded accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
In August 2012, India announced that it would offer state-backed insurance to tankers importing crude oil from Iran in defiance of the US-engineered sanctions against the Islamic Republic.