India’s BPCL could resume Iranian oil purchases if no sanctions need concessions
India’s state-owned Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL.NS) could absorb up to 2 million tonnes of Iranian oil per year if the OPEC member offers concessions to make its crude oil attractive compared to competing qualities, a company official said on Thursday.
BPCL was taking 2 million tonnes of Iranian crude oil on average annually when Tehran was not under US sanctions.
“We took 2 million tonnes (per year) of Iranian crude oil, on average, when things were normal. We will come back to that figure … I will not take 6 million tonnes of Iranian oil,” N said. Vijayagopal, responsible for the finances of BPCL.
Vijayagopal, however, said purchases of Iranian oil depended on its price relative to similar competing qualities.
Iran offered discounts on crude and shipments on oil sales to Indian refiners.
India, the world’s third-largest consumer and importer of oil, suspended oil imports from Tehran in 2019 because a temporary exemption granted to some countries expired. Former US President Donald Trump abandoned the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions.
The administration of US President Joe Biden and Iran have entered into indirect talks to revive the pact for Tehran to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for a lifting of sanctions.
Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei said on Tuesday he was optimistic that Tehran would soon reach an agreement during negotiations with world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal. Read more
Indian refiners plan to replace some of their cash purchases with Iranian oil in the second half of this year, as the United States and Iran move closer to a deal.
He said the company meets about 45% of its oil import needs through spot and the rest through long-term contracts.
Vijaygopal also said his company was operating its refineries at an average capacity of 86% because a second wave of COVID-19 reduced local demand for fuel.
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