NEW DELHI: India will stop importing crude oil from Iran following the US move to end sanction waivers, and will use alternate supply sources such as Saudi Arabia to make up for the lost volumes, top officials and industry sources said Tuesday.
The Trump administration Monday decided not to renew waiver that let countries like India buy Iranian oil without facing US sanctions, report agencies."Until the waivers are not restored back, I don't think India can buy oil from Iran. We will stop importing oil from Iran," a top official said.
New Delhi is likely to press with the US government for continuation of beyond its expiry on May 2 in talks scheduled later this month, he said. "But purchases cannot be made in anticipation. We will not be importing any oil from Iran."
India was the second biggest buyer of Iranian crude oil after China. It bought some 24 million tonnes of crude oil from Iran in the fiscal ended March 31 (2018-19). Iran supplied more than a tenth of its oil needs.
The shortfall will be made from alternate supply sources available in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and Mexico.
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in a tweet said "a robust plan for an adequate supply of crude oil to Indian refineries" is in place.
"There will be additional supplies from other major oil-producing countries; Indian refineries are fully prepared to meet the national demand for petrol, diesel & other petroleum products," he said.The oil ministry too in a statement said a plan was in place to ensure supplies of crude oil from May when the waiver ends.
Indian Oil Corp (IOC) Chairman Sanjiv Singh said refiners import crude oil from a wide range of sources and had been lining up alternate supplies for the past months.
The US was to take a decision on waiver extension this month and Indian refineries had prepared plans for all eventualities.
"We have alternate sources lined up to make up for any shortfall," he said.