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INTERVIEW-Iran's top Indian oil buyer draws up alternatives
August 21, 2012 / 7:02 AM / 5 years ago

INTERVIEW-Iran's top Indian oil buyer draws up alternatives

NEW DELHI, Aug 21 (Reuters) - MRPL, Iran’s biggest Indian client, may seek more spot high sulphur oil through tenders to make up for a shortfall in supplies from Tehran that have been hit by western sanctions, its managing director said on Tuesday.

Refiners in Asia, Iran’s biggest market, are struggling to lift its crude because of problems with insurance and shipping since the European Union brought in sanctions on July 1 banning most major insurance firms from covering Iranian oil shipments.

“I got a shortage of crude. That’s why there were emergency tenders ... because Iran volume is high sulphur so I have to make up for the loss through tenders,” P. P. Upadhya told Reuters.

Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) has already floated tenders to buy 1.2 million barrels of oil for October, including one to buy 600,000 barrels of high sulphur oil -- normally supplied from Iran.

MRPL has used Iranian ships and insurance but needs approval from New Delhi, which prefers use of local ships. MRPL used one local ship for a cargo in August but domestic shippers generally feel insurance cover provided by local firms is inadequate.

Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Jo Winterbottom

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