Crude shock for Tehran, India's Chennai Petroleum cancels Iran oil imports

Iranian oil exports have dropped ahead of sanctions as several countries have begun to curtail their purchase from the Middle-East producer.

India will Import Iranian Oil but how that is what Delhi is exploring. The other is the concern that tanker tracking data may become less reliable, as Iran may try to use some "unconventional" methods of keeping its oil sales on track, like switching off tracking devices on tankers-a "solution" that Tehran is said to have used in the previous round of sanctions in 2012-2015.

Indian refiners will pay for oil from Iran in rupee, using UCO Bank and IDBI Bank, from November 4 when petroleum-related sanctions against the Islamic Republic take effect, according to people familiar with the matter.

The US has demanded that nations cut all their Iranian oil imports when sanctions on the country's petroleum sector over Tehran's nuclear programme are re-imposed on November 4.

The rupee-rial arrangement was used to buy oil from Iran before sanctions were lifted against it three years ago. UCO Bank has handled similar transactions in the past, hence it will be the preferred bank.

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India is yet to take a call on complying with the USA sanctions on Iran.

"India has long sought to develop Iran's Chabahar port, which would give India direct access to Afghanistan and Central Asia without relying on transit routes through Pakistan", the report said. Not only is Iran India's second-biggest oil supplier, but India is also the second-top oil client of Iran - the first being China.

Work was slowed by the difficulty equipment suppliers had in obtaining financing for the project, a outcome of hesitancy among banks about whether the United States might still try to sanction the project. It is now seeking support from allies to cut Iranian oil imports to zero soon after the sanction on the petroleum sanction commences in November.

The CRS report said that during a visit to India in June 2018, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said the Trump administration might consider providing exemptions to US sanctions to enable the Chabahar work to continue because the project is vital to Afghanistan's development and reducing its dependence on Pakistan.

India had planned to import about 25 million tons of crude oil from Iran in the current fiscal, up from 22.6 million tons imported in 2017-18.

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