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Oil and gas-rich Iran is ready to share its natural resources with India to help its development, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on a visit to India on Friday.
“Iran is rich in oil and natural gas resources. It is ready to share the natural resources with India for its development and progress,” Indian media quoted Rouhani as saying today.
Iran has been a major exporter of crude oil to India, while Indian oil demand and imports continue to grow to meet rising fuel demand in Asia’s next major influencer of oil markets alongside China.
Indian-Iranian energy relations have been a bit strained lately after India had started to reduce imports of Iranian crude oil, making good on its promise to reduce imports by around 20 percent this fiscal year ending March 2018, in possible retaliation for Tehran not awarding the development of a gas field in Iran to Indian firms.
Last year, India’s oil imports reached a record high of 4.37 million bpd, up by 1.8 percent compared to 2016, according to data by Thomson Reuters Oil Research & Forecasts.
Iraq for the first time became India’s top oil supplier last year, ousting OPEC’s largest producer Saudi Arabia. Iran was India’s third largest supplier of oil in 2017, with shipments averaging 471,000 bpd, slightly down from 2016. But in the April-December period, the first nine months of India’s fiscal year to March 2018, imports from Iran dropped by 18 percent compared to the same period of the previous year, to average 437,000 bpd, as Indian state refiners were said to be reducing imports from Iran over Tehran’s snub of Indian companies for the development of the Farzad B gas field.
Most recently, India’s crude oil imports jumped to a record 4.93 million bpd in January 2018 on high refinery runs and expanding refining capacity amid a strong recovery in demand.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.