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Iran Claims Its Oil Exports To India Are Not Dropping

Iran says that its crude oil exports to India have hit 700,000 bpd this month, with sales volume “unprecedented”, Iranian media report, quoting a statement by the Iranian oil ministry.

Last week, Reuters reported—citing shipping and industry sources data—that Indian crude oil imports from Iran dropped by 15.7 percent in the fiscal year 2017/18 ended March 31, compared to the previous fiscal year, after India’s state refiners cut supplies from Tehran over a disagreement between Iran and India about the awarding of the development of an Iranian natural gas field, which initially had to go to Indian companies.

According to data from Reuters sources, India’s crude oil imports from Iran were around 458,000 bpd in 2017/2018 fiscal year, compared to some 543,500 bpd in the previous fiscal period. State refiners cut imports from Iran by around 27 percent in 2017/2018, the data showed.

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“India is the second biggest customer of Iran’s crude oil after China. It did not cut purchases during the time of sanctions even though the United States put a lot of pressures on New Delhi to do so,” Tasnim news agency quoted the Iranian oil ministry as saying on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said that Iran would “take all the necessary measures to keep its oil market share because of the political atmosphere and the American president’s decision on the deal,” when asked to comment on rumors that Iran could offer discounts to Indian refiners to keep its market share as the possibility of renewed sanctions loom large.

Related: World Bank: Oil Prices To Average $65 This Year

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“We have not given a special discount to India but it is possible to make changes in our prices,” Reuters quoted Zanganeh as saying on Monday.

Also on Monday, the Iranian minister said that the March drop in Iran’s overall crude exports was temporary, and Tehran has now recovered the pace of exports.

“Iran’s total export of crude oil and gas condensate is now more than 2.5 million barrels a day,” the oil ministry’s news service Shana quoted Zanganeh as saying.

Iran and India have also reached a deal “on development of the Farzad B gas field by Indian companies,” Shana quoted Zanganeh as saying.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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