India has no problem buying Iran's oil

Jan. 18, 2011 at 9:50 AM
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NEW DELHI, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- There is no change in the amount of crude oil imported by India from Iran, an Indian oil company said amid a currency dispute.

The Reserve Bank of India closed the Asian Clearing Union route for Indian purchases of Iranian crude oil in part because of U.S. economic sanctions targeting Iran's energy sector.

Naresh Nayyar, the managing director of India's Essar Oil, said his company was importing around 3 million barrels of Iranian crude each month.

"There has been no disruption in supplies," he was quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying. "We continue to import same volumes (this month)."

Tehran said it would sell crude oil to India on credit while both sides work on new ways to pay for the imports. New Delhi said it was looking for banks that aren't subject to U.S. sanctions.

New Delhi said it was considering using the euro, the yen or the dirham. India, the government says, has no other options because Iran is the second-largest supplier of crude oil after Saudi Arabia.

Without a new payment mechanism, India stands to lose 10 million barrels of crude oil from Iran next month. India expects to import about 130 million barrels of crude oil from Iran in 2011, down from 156 million barrels imported last year.

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