India may win Iran sanctions waiver - IEA exec

NEW DELHI Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:16pm IST

Malta-flagged Iranian crude oil supertanker ''Delvar'' is seen anchored off Singapore March 1, 2012.REUTERS/Tim Chong

Malta-flagged Iranian crude oil supertanker ''Delvar'' is seen anchored off Singapore March 1, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Tim Chong

Related Topics

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India could yet be exempted from tighter U.S. sanctions on buyers of Iranian crude, and New Delhi would like to be judged on the size of term deals with Tehran which begin in April, the International Energy Agency's executive director told Reuters.

In a first public indication India is discussing a waiver to the sanctions, which it has rebuffed, Maria van der Hoeven said the country's annual contracts were an unknown still to be considered.

Reuters calculates India is likely to cut imports from Iran by more than 20 percent in the new deals -- in line with a benchmark 15-22 percent set for Japan to secure its waiver.

"At the moment, India is not one of those with an exemption. The answer of India was that they have their contracts running from April to March," van der Hoeven said in an interview on the sidelines of the Asia Gas Partnership conference in New Delhi on Friday.

"So that, for instance, is one of the ... things that has to be decided in the context of what is going to happen after April 1. It is one of the uncertainties that are there."

The U.S. has exempted Japan and 10 EU nations from financial sanctions because they have slashed purchases of Iranian oil, but Iran's top customers -- China and India -- remain at risk of such steps.

The 11 countries have a six-month reprieve from the threat of being cut off from the U.S. financial system.

India relies on Iran, its second-biggest supplier, for about 12 percent of its oil needs.

New Delhi publicly maintains it will not seek a waiver to the U.S. measures, and that it sees no need to reduce oil imports from Iran because that is not required under United Nations sanctions, although it acknowledges the need to diversify supplies.

Privately it has asked refiners to cut by at least 15 percent.

Payments to Tehran, and insurance for shipments of its oil, are becoming ever more difficult because of sanctions and have prompted India to resort to using the rupee -- which is not freely traded on global markets -- for some Iranian crude.

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma and Jo Winterbottom; Editing by Aradhana Aravindan and David Hulmes)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Popularity Poll

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Record Highs

Record Highs

Nifty touches record high; software stocks gain.  Full Article 

New Adviser

New Adviser

Arvind Subramanian likely to be chief econ adviser.  Full Article 

Pricing Mechanism

Pricing Mechanism

Govt sets up a four-member panel to re-examine gas pricing.  Full Article 

Royalty Rates

Royalty Rates

India to hike iron ore royalty, miners may struggle to pass on extra cost.  Full Article 

Diesel Deregulation

Diesel Deregulation

Oil ministry to seek Cabinet nod on diesel deregulation - sources  Full Article 

Commodities

Commodities

Gold near two-month low; set for weekly drop on interest rate fears  Full Article 

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

Apple iPhone 6 screen snag leaves supply chain scrambling   Full Article 

Helping Regional Mills

Helping Regional Mills

Govt raises sugar import duty to 25 pct from 15 pct.  Full Article 

Curbing Risks

Curbing Risks

RBI to lower ceiling on bank loans to a single corporate group.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage