Will India continue to buy Iranian crude oil?

ArticleEnergyTue, 18 Sep 2018 06:01:53 GMT

After the first sanctions imposed on Iran last July, India continues to buy Iranian crude oil despite increasing pressure from the United States.

India, the third largest oil importer, continues to source oil from Iran despite US sanctions imposed on Tehran. India is increasingly engaged in competing alliances. On one hand, relations between Washington and New Delhi have improved in recent years, mainly because of their mutual perception of an increased military and economic threat from China. On the other hand, the relationship between India and Iran has also improved largely for common crude oil interests. Indeed, Iran offered generous discounts to India on its oil imports this year. And while the first phase of the new US sanctions was imminent, Iran still insured oil shipments to India.

However, India seems to be offering a conciliatory tone to the United States since a 16% drop in Iranian oil imports in June was observed compared to May. Indeed, recent data show that India has reduced its purchases of Iranian crude oil due to increased pressure from the United States. India imported 5320,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian oil in August, a 32% drop from the previous month. This figure is still higher than 56% compared to last year. Indian refiners continue to benefit from Iranian tariffs.

Despite this, Indian refiners increased their oil imports from Iran by 30%, representing a record increase to 768.999 barrels per day in July. In addition, imports of Indian crude oil from Iran represented an 85% increase from the 415,000 bpd shipped in July 2017.

India also exerts its own pressure on the United States since Washington is increasingly dependent on New Delhi to deter the Chinese from hegemony in the region.


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