Iranian oil imports to India were cut in February 2015 to keep annual volumes from Tehran close to the previous year's levels and within the limits allowed under a deal aimed at restricting the OPEC nation's nuclear programme. Imports were at their lowest levels since July 2013.
According to local press reports, India shipped approximately 102 200 bpd of crude and condensate from Tehran in February 2015, a 63% decrease from January and 62% fall compared to the same period a year earlier. The import cuts follow on from reductions in January 2015.
Refiners in India increased imports during April - December 2014 by more than 40%, causing alarm amongst US authorities. For this reason, New Delhi instructed Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd, Essar Oil and Indian Oil Corp to substantially cut oil imports from Iran in the February – March 2015 period.
New Delhi is reportedly aiming to keep its average oil imports from Tehran at around 210 000 - 220 000 bpd (11 million t) for the year ended 31 March 2015 to meet the terms of a temporary deal brokered by the US, Russia, China, Britain, France, Germany and Iran that asks buyer nations to retain purchases from Tehran at 2013 levels. The deal eased a number of sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbs to its nuclear programme, capping its oil exports at around 1 million - 1.1 million bpd. The countries are currently negotiating with Iran towards a final agreement on sanctions.
Edited from various sources by Rosalie Starling
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