Indian private refiner Essar Oil imported six times more crude oil from the Islamic Republic in March 2014 compared to March 2013 following a jump in shipment volumes in the final quarter of the period, a report says.
Iran’s top Indian client shipped in about 231,100 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian crude in March 2014. The figure marked a growth of about 90 percent from February, and six times more than the volume in March 2013. The number was also the highest monthly shipment since at least January 2011, Reuters reported on Thursday.
The higher volumes in the January-March 2014 quarter were apparently facilitated by the November 2013 interim deal between the Islamic Republic and six major world powers over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, France, Britain, Russia, China – plus Germany reached an interim deal on November 24, 2013, in the Swiss city of Geneva to set the stage for the full settlement of the dispute over Iran’s nuclear energy program. The deal took effect on January 20.
Under the Geneva deal, the six countries agreed to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period. It was also agreed that no nuclear-related sanctions would be imposed on the Islamic Republic within the same time frame.
Essar shipped in about 105,700 bpd from Iran in the year to March 31. The Indian refiner lifted about 31 percent more oil than the contracted 80,000 bpd in the last fiscal year on the basis of actual loading from Iran.
Iran accounted for about a third of Essar’s total crude oil imports of about 3.28 million bpd in the last fiscal year, compared with 27.6 percent the year before.
India is among Asia’s major importers of energy, and relies on the Islamic Republic to meet a portion of its energy requirements.
By Press TV
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