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India weighs insurance for Iranian crude

Aug. 2, 2012 at 7:00 AM

NEW DELHI, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- An Indian shipping company will offer state insurance to tankers carrying Iranian crude oil in an effort to continue deliveries, a company chairman said.

European sanctions on the Iranian energy sector include action that targets insurance to tanker carrying crude oil from the Islamic republic.

Sabyasachi Hajara, chairman of the Shipping Corp. of India, said tankers could get around $100 million in insurance per voyage through a state-backed plan.

"As far as India is concerned, we are bothered about our sovereign requirements," he told Bloomberg News. "We took a pragmatic view."

Refineries in India halted crude oil purchases from Iran after European sanctions went into force in July.

New Delhi had faced difficulties finding a currency to use to pay for the crude oil it purchases from Iran because of financial pressure exerted on Tehran by governments wary of its nuclear ambitions.

India is one of Iran's largest oil customers but was named by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as shielded from some U.S. sanctions because of a decision to "significantly" cut back on Iranian crude oil purchases, however.

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