File photo shows Iran Najm supertanker.
India has started purchasing Iran's crude in tankers owned by the Islamic Republic, in an attempt to prevent the US-engineered EU sanctions from disrupting Iranian oil shipments to the Asian country.
State-run Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) is importing crude in a Suezmax tanker belonging to National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), Reuters reported on Thursday.
HPCL is scheduled to lift a second Suezmax from the Kharg port in the Persian Gulf on June 25-27.
Moreover, Essar Oil - an India-based company engaged in the exploration and production of oil and natural gas - has recently loaded a cargo of about one million barrels of Iranian crude oil from the Kharg port in the Persian Gulf.
NITC allocated an Aframax vessel called Iran Amol to Essar in July for supplying two cargoes of 400,000 barrels each.
Meanwhile, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited are also slated to load five Aframaxes of Iranian oil.
Indian refiners imported about 346,600 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian oil in June, up 42.5 percent from May, according to Reuters.
On January 23, under pressure from the United States, the European Union's foreign ministers approved new sanctions against Tehran. The sanctions, which mean to prevent member states from buying Iranian crude or doing business with its central bank, entered into force as of July 1.
India’s Oil Ministry has asked the country’s Finance Ministry to get state-owned reinsurer General Insurance Corp. to provide insurance coverage for domestic ships transferring crude from Iran, Chaturvedi added.
India is one of the biggest customers of the Iranian crude. The Asian country reportedly accounts for more than 10 percent of the Islamic Republic’s annual oil exports.