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PTI / The hindu / NEW DELHI, July 31, 2011.
After threatening to snap oil supplies, Iran on Sunday said a payment row over crude exports to India has been resolved after Indian refiners began paying for the oil they buy through a Turkish bank.
The Iranian Oil Ministry’s website, SHANA, quoted National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) Managing Director Ahmad Qalebani as saying that “the problem of India payments for imported oil from Iran has been solved.”
Refiners like Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) have opened rupee accounts in the New Delhi branch of Union Bank of India, which will route euro payments to state—owned Turkiye Halk Bankasi (Halkbank) in Istanbul.
Halkbank will then transfer that money to the account of NIOC, sources involved in the process said here.
MRPL and private sector refiner Essar Oil last week transfered a small payment to Halkbank to test the conduit, which will be used to clear over USD 7 billion in outstanding dues to Iran that have accumulated.
Indian Oil (IOC) and Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) will make payments next once the test payments are successful.
Mr. Qalebani on the website was quoted as saying that “part of the arrear payments would be settled this week.”
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