India Hopeful to Clear Iran’s Oil Dues Soon
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – India’s government sources say there have been discussions with Iranian officials on clearing the dues for oil imports from Iran, expressing the hope that the issue will be resolved soon.
Keen to step up engagement in hydrocarbon sector with Tehran, New Delhi has conveyed to the Islamic Republic that it is ready to clear nearly $6.5 billion of the dues for oil import from the Persian Gulf country at the earliest, provided there was clarity on payment channel, The Hindu reported.
The message has been conveyed to Iran ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Tehran later this month.
Following lifting of anti-Iran sanctions in January under a nuclear deal with world powers, Iran terminated a three-year-old system with India of getting paid for half of the oil dues in rupees and has been insisting on being paid in Euros for the oil it sells to Indian refiners.
Indian officials said though the sanctions against Iran have been lifted, problems persist in banking channels due to which regular transactions are not possible yet.
Refiners like Essar Oil and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MPRL) owe nearly $.5 billion in dues to Iran.
New Delhi has been eying deeper energy ties with Tehran and has already lined up $ 20 billion as investment in oil and gas as well as petrochemical and fertilizer projects in Iran.
New Delhi is looking to increase engagement with the sanction-free Iran by raising oil imports and possible shipments of natural gas. It also wants rights to develop Farzad-B gas field in the Persian Gulf discovered by OVL.
A deal for the field was not signed during Pradhan’s visit as Iranian Parliament, Majlis, is yet to approve the new Iran Petroleum Contract (IPC) under which the Farzad-B field is to be given to the OVL-led consortium.