India Steadily Boosting Import of Iranian Crude

India Steadily Boosting Import of Iranian CrudeIndia Steadily Boosting Import of Iranian Crude

Indian Oil Corp, the country's biggest oil firm, has increased crude oil import from Iran to fourfold and has cleared most of the past payments as sanctions against Tehran were eased in January, said

"We have signed a contract to import 5 million tons of crude oil (around 34 million barrels) from Iran in 2016-17, up from 1.2 million tons," IOC's finance director A. K. Sharma said in a statement on Wednesday, PTI reported.

India has steadily boosted oil imports from Iran after sanctions were lifted in January this year. Iran is currently India's fourth biggest crude supplier.

Iran, which was India's second biggest supplier after Saudi Arabia by 2010-11, was relegated to 7th place in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

India imported 12.7 million tons of oil in 2015-16, up from 11 million tons in the previous two fiscal years. That made it the 6th largest supplier of oil to India.

In April-June this year, India bought 5 million tons of crude oil from Iran, making it the fourth largest supplier just a shade behind Venezuela which exported 5.2 million tons.

Iran in 2009-10 supplied 21.2 million tons which came down to 18.5 million tons in 2010-11 and to 18.1 million tons in the year after. IOC's director of refineries also said the company had cleared $510 million out of a total of $621 million it owes Iran for past oil purchases.

Sanctions had blocked payment routes and IOC's debt, along with many other Indian refiners, had accumulated over the past couple of years.

Iraq this year has overtaken Saudi Arabia as India's top oil exporter. It sold 11 million tons of crude oil to India during April-June, higher than Saudi Arabia's 10 million tons.