Reuters – Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Wednesday that, because of U.S. sanctions, India had refused to allow a Russian-owned Indian refinery to use Iranian crude oil that India had obtained under waivers.
Zanganeh was responding to a question in an interview on Iranian state television about why Iran had not bought refineries overseas. He said large investments were needed, and the refineries would be under the jurisdiction of the host country.
“Even if you own a refinery, …it is under the sovereignty of the country where it is located…. For example, a Russian company has bought the Essar refinery in India. But it is not allowed to take oil from Iran,” Zanganeh said.
“The Indian government had obtained a waiver (to import Iranian oil) but it uses it for its state refinery. It did not allow them (Russians) to take oil,” Zanganeh said.
Indian officials could not be contacted for comment, following the late evening interview.
Russian oil major Rosneft (ROSN.MM), fund UCP and Swiss commodities trader Trafigura bought Essar Oil’s large refinery, 3,500 fuel stations and infrastructure for $12.9 billion last year.
U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of a multilateral nuclear deal with Iran in May and reimposed sanctions on Iran’s oil industry last month.
Washington had been pushing governments to cut imports of Iranian oil to zero, but fearing a crude oil price spike, it granted Iran’s biggest buyers – China, India, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Greece, Taiwan and Turkey – sanctions waivers.
Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru and Dubai newsroom; editing by John Stonestreet.