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HomeInternationalState-run refiners prepare to buy Iran oil once US sanctions ease

State-run refiners prepare to buy Iran oil once US sanctions ease

India has been vocal in its support for Iranian crude purchases recently as it laments the price of supplies from Saudi Arabia. The world’s third-largest importer has also signaled its desire to diversify its sources of oil, hoping the new US administration will take a softer line on sanctioned producers. Its criticism comes as the consumer struggles with lower demand due to a Covid-19 resurgence.

Iranian exports tumbled after former US President Donald Trump tightened sanctions in 2018 and ended waivers for some countries in 2019, including India. Iran and world powers this week began their most serious attempt yet to resurrect a nuclear deal. While some progress has been made, the path to an easing of penalties and sharply higher oil exports remains uncertain.

India — once Iran’s second-biggest customer —imports more than 85 per cent of its total oil needs. Getting access to Iranian crude would bring a number of benefits, including cheaper barrels and a longer credit cycle, while the shorter voyage means savings on freight costs. China, meanwhile, has recently boosted purchases from the sanctioned nation to about 1 million barrels a day.

Spokespeople at the biggest state-run refiners — Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp — declined to comment.


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