Iran may barter crude oil for Indian premium gasoline

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by staff ()

Crude Station: Iran may start bartering crude oil for premium gasoline from India.
The Iranian Oil Ministry has taken the decision to receive Indian premium gasoline for crude oil instead of rupee.

India is increasing imports of crude oil from Iran as policy makers risk flouting U.S. trade sanctions in their scramble to halt the slump in the rupee.

Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. (MRPL), India’s biggest buyer of Iranian crude, plans to buy five cargoes of 85,000 metric tons each this month, compared with three in August, Managing Director P.P. Upadhya said in an interview. Shipments from the world’s only producer that accepts rupee payments for oil are estimated to rise to 4 million tons in the year ending March 31, versus 3.9 million tons in the previous 12 months.

India is among a few countries eligible for a waiver of a U.S. law that imposes financial sanctions unless they can show they have “significantly reduced” purchases from the Persian Gulf country. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is seeking options to revive the $1.8 trillion economy, which relies on imports to meet 80 percent of its energy needs, as he struggles to stem capital outflows that have weakened the rupee by 17 percent this year against the dollar.

“Importing crude oil from Iran is crucial as it helps in curbing dollar outgo in a big way,” Upadhya said by phone from Mangalore on India’s west coast. “We can make part payment in rupees. That’s the arrangement.”

At present, some 65-67 million liters of gasoline is being produced per day in Iran’s refineries, and the figure will be boosted to 70 million liters once two gasoline production units at Isfahan and Tabriz refineries come on stream in October.