Iran asks India to settle oil payments in rupees
Tehran, July 12, 2013
Iran has asked India to settle all oil trade including $1.53 billion owed to Tehran in the partly convertible rupee as the sanctions-hit nation cannot find an alternative payment channel, industry and government sources in Delhi said.
India has been paying for 45 percent of its Iranian oil imports in rupees, which has limited international acceptability, and was settling the remainder in euros through Turkey's Halkbank, but this was halted in February under pressure from tighter western sanctions.
The U.S. and European Union slapped sanctions on Iran to block oil revenues over its disputed nuclear programme, which they suspect aims to build weapons. Iran denies this claim.
Since April 1, Indian refiners have held on to 55 percent of payments as Iran has been exploring avenues, including settling in roubles through Russia, the sources said. The non-payment was seen as a hidden incentive or a temporary relief on top of attractive credit terms offered by Iran to Indian clients.
"The Russian route didn't work out so they have asked us to make the entire payment, including dues, in rupees and we have no problems in that. Soon we will start clearing the dues in rupees," said an official at an Indian refiner.
The two countries had been trying to reduce New Delhi's debts by promoting exports and India recently said it would allow goods to be imported for re-export to Iran as long as they added value of at least 15 percent, to encourage trade.
India imported 262,800 barrels per day (bpd) from Iran in 2012/13, a reduction of 27.4 percent from the previous year, according to preliminary government data.
New Delhi, along with other Asian clients of Iran, won another 180-day waiver from the U.S. sanctions last month on the back of its cuts in imports from Tehran.-Reuters
More Energy, Oil & Gas Stories
- Egypt to permit factories to use coal for energy
- ME oil, gas transaction value up 15pc
- Victrex to showcase new product in Paris
- Aramco JV puts off giant refinery overhaul to 2015
- Libya threatens to bomb N Korean tanker
- Bahrain 'producing 850MW of surplus power'
- 2,000 experts for Bahrain geosciences summit
- Libyan rebels start oil exports, bypassing govt
- Dubai drilling company set for London IPO
- Opec output soars on higher Iraq exports
- S Korea to pay Iran $550m under nuke deal
- Qatar LPG exports will stay unchanged till 2018
- $14bn Bahrain energy sector focus for summit
- Iraq now world's fastest-growing oil exporter
- Old IT systems pose risk to oil firms
- Thomson Reuters adds commodity monitoring tool
- Oil below $90 to hit GCC economies
- GlassPoint appoints new Oman director
- Sheffield company opens Dubai hub
- Oman targets big rise in gas output
- Intertek buys UAE firm for $66m
- Qaiwan to tender Baizan refinery EPC contract
- Al Maha wins Oman Air fuel supply deal
- Iran to become top gas importer by 2025
- UAE hydrocarbon projects seen hitting $11bn
- Summit focus on occupational safety
- Aramco names new senior VP
- Siemens gets $253m Qatar power contract
- Taqa-led group's India deal worth $1.6bn
- Taqa-led group to buy India power plants