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India finds alternative oil suppliers to prepare for Iran losses

Indian refineries are fully prepared to meet the national demand for petrol [Getty]

Date of publication: 23 April, 2019

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India will receive supplementary supplies from other major oil producing countries to recompense the loss of Iranian oil.

India will receive supplementary supplies from other major oil producing countries to recompense the loss of Iranian crude, India's Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Tuesday.

Pradhan said on Twitter that the country has put in place a strong plan for to ensure sufficient supplies of crude oil to Indian refineries.

"Indian refineries are fully prepared to meet the national demand for petrol, diesel and other petroleum products, he said.

The US on Monday ended sanction waivers for Iran oil importers and demanded that buyers of Tahran oil stop purchases by 1 May or face sanctions.

The US' move would end six months of exemption which had allowed Iran's eight biggest buyers, most of them in Asia, to continue to import limited volumes.

The White House said on Monday that Saudi Arabia and the UAE - both back Trump's hawkish stance against regional rival Iran - would work to make up the difference in oil to ensure that global markets are not rocked.

"Saudi Arabia and others in OPEC will more than make up the Oil Flow difference in our now Full Sanctions on Iranian Oil," US President Donald Trump said.  

Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, said on Monday it would liaise with other producers to ensure enough crude supply as well as a balanced market.

Eight governments were initially given six-month reprieves from the unilateral US sanctions on Iran. They include India, which has warm ties with Washington but disagrees on the US insistence that Iran is a threat.

Other countries that will be affected include China and Turkey, opening up new friction in contentious relationships if the US goes ahead with sanctions over buying Iranian oil.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited India where he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to promote closer ties and potential multi-billion dollar investments.

"There are opportunities to invest over $100 billion in India," the Saudi crown prince said, according to The Hindustan Times. He added that Saudi Arabia had already invested $44 billion in the country in a refinery deal with Saudi Aramco.

Saudi Arabia is a key source of crude oil for India. This lucrative relationship is expected to become more important as a deadline looms for India to cooperate with US sanctions on Iran, another of the country's major oil providers.

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