July 22, 2011, Reuters, New Delhi / DC.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Iran halts oil supply, but India sees no shortage!
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Iran halts oil supply, but India sees no shortage - AP.
India has a back-up plan to cope with a halt to crude supplies from Iran, its oil minister said, as Teheran upped the ante in an oil payments row and Indian refiners rushed to secure alternative supplies, including from Saudi Arabia.
Since December, India and Iran have struggled to find ways for New Delhi to pay for imports of 400,000 barrels per day, 12 per cent of its oil demand, after the Reserve Bank of India halted a clearing mechanism under US pressure.
That move won praise from Washington, which is using sanctions in a bid to get Teheran to halt its nuclear programme.
Indian firms Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd, Iran's biggest Indian client, BPCL, IOC, HPCL and Essar buy crude from the Islamic Republic, and their collective debt to Iran since the crisis broke out has risen to more than $5 billion.
None of the five refiners have received a crude supply plan from Iran for August loading cargoes, officials and executives at the companies said on condition of anonymity.
But Indian Oil Minister S. Jaipal Reddy said on Thursday no oil shortages would result from Iran's halting supplies in August.
"No. There will not be any shortage or problem. We have a back-up plan," Reddy said.
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