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"HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd (HMEL) has taken two shipments of Iranian oil since the start of September to maximize margins at its 180,000 barrels per day (bpd) Bathinda refinery in northern India, two sources with knowledge of the deals told Reuters. The purchases came to a total 2 million barrels... Mark Dubowitz, a U.S. lobbyist for tougher sanctions on Iran and head of the Foundation for Defence of Democracies, said HMEL was taking a significant risk in buying this oil... HMEL is part-owned by Indian tycoon Mittal, who heads ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker. ArcelorMittal produces 35 percent of its steel in the Americas and 47 percent in Europe, according to the company's website. State-run refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Mittal own 49 percent each in the joint venture HMEL... While India's state-run refiners are adhering to the government's verbal order to cut imports from Iran by at least 15 percent, their efforts could be undermined by private refiner Essar and now HMEL... HMEL's oil purchases came on Iran's suezmax vessel Magnolia in September and Lantana in October, said the sources, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue. Suezmaxes can carry up to 1 million barrels of crude... An HMEL spokeswoman said that, as a policy, the company does not provide details of its crude oil sourcing... In September HMEL bought a million barrels each of Arab Medium and Khafji, while for October it is scheduled to lift 2 million barrels of Arab Medium from the kingdom... 'How HMEL will make its payment is yet to be seen,' said one of the sources." (Reuters, "Exclusive: India's HMEL bought 2 million barrels of Iranian oil: sources," 10/13/2012)
"India's oil imports from Iran fell by more than 40 percent in July from June and a year ago, as imports by Tehran's biggest local client MRPL were hit by a shortage of ships and insurance cover caused by European Union sanctions . . . HPCL aims to buy 60,000 bpd oil from Iran -- 40,000 firm and 20,000 optional, compared with 70,000 bpd in 2011/12, and Indian Oil Corp, the country's biggest refiner, plans to lift 30,000 bpd compared with 42,000 bpd a year ago." (Reuters, "India cuts July Iran oil imports by over 40 pct y/y-trade data," 8/21/12)
"Indian state-run refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp plans to lift up to three Suezmax crude cargoes or about 99,300 barrels per day (bpd) oil from Iran this month, its executive director B. K. Namdeo said on Thursday…To skirt European sanctions that have hit insurance and reinsurance of Iranian shipments, India has offered a limited cover of about $100 million for Iranian imports, which local shippers have rejected saying it was inadequate.
The cover offered by state insurers for Iran shipments is a fraction of the $1 billion coverage that a supertanker carrying around 2 million barrels of crude would normally have from reinsurers.
India, Iran's second-biggest crude customer after China, is also giving permission to refiners on a case-by-case basis to import oil using Iranian vessels and insurance.
HPCL, which imported only one Suezmax cargo in July of the two planned, has won permission from the shipping ministry to import oil using Iranian tanker and insurance in August, Namdeo said.
One Suezmax carry around a million barrels of oil." (Reuters, "India HPCL aims to buy about 99,000 bpd Iran oil in Aug," 8/9/12)
"State-run Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) has made its first payment for Iranian oil in rupees to partially settle its bill for a cargo imported in May, company officials said on Friday, a move that will help New Delhi fix its trade imbalance with Tehran . . . The balance of HPCL's payment, made on Friday, was through Turkey's Halkbank and India's UCO Bank. 'This is the first payment we have made since the gate was opened...we have paid 45 percent in rupees and 55 percent through Halkbank,' B. Mukherjee, head of finance at HPCL, told Reuters . . . HPCL has paid 2.75 billion Indian rupees ($49.25 million) to Iran through UCO Bank and $60 million through Halkbank, a company source privy to the matter said . . . MRPL's first August cargo from Iran is already on its way to Mangalore Port in southern India in the Iranian vessel Gardenia while HPCL is seeking the shipping ministry's permission to lift a cargo from Tehran next week." (Reuters, "India HPCL begins rupee payment for Iran oil," 8/3/23)
"India's biggest buyer of Iranian oil, MRPL, has bought Azeri, Saudi and Emirati crude to replace imports from Iran in July and it may halt purchases from Tehran altogether as sanctions make shipments more difficult,industry sources said on Monday. . . Indian Oil Corp., the country's biggest oil refiner, has been lifting 20,000 bpd of Azeri Light crude in 2012 under an annual contract while Hindustan Petroleum will soon start buying 10,000 bpd from Azerbaijan's national oil company SOCAR." (Reuters, "India's top buyer of Iran oil turns to Azeri, Saudi," 7/16/12)
"India's biggest buyer of Iranian oil may only import one-fifth of the 3.3 million barrels of crude it had scheduled for July due to insurance and shipping difficulties caused by European Union sanctions on Tehran, industry sources said.
The possible drop in imports by state-owned refiner Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) underscores the problems the EU sanctions, which ban most of the world's major insurance firms from covering shipments of Iranian oil, have created for Iran's major Asian customers China, India and Japan since coming into effect on July 1.
Along with U.S. sanctions, the EU measures, which include an oil embargo, has so far halved Iran's year-on-year oil sales…India had initially allowed state-owned refiners to use Iranian tankers to ship oil purchases from Iran but swiftly backtracked to benefit its own shipping industry, stipulating that state-run oil firms must use Indian ships and allowing limited coverage by state-run insurers for Iranian cargoes.
State-run refiner Hindustan Petroleum is scheduled to receive an oil cargo aboard an Iranian suezmax next week, a company source said. The vessel was booked before the government withdrew its permission to ship Iranian oil in Iranian tankers." (Reuters, "India's main Iran oil buyer may cut July imports," 7/12/12)
"India's Insurance and Regulatory and Development Authority has agreed to allow state-run insurers to replace their European counterparts, enabling at least Shipping Corp Of India to resume transporting Iranian oil, officials said . . . Refiner HPCL, which has already taken a suezmax vessel carrying 1 million barrels of oil from Iran on a delivered basis, may hire an SCI vessel for a cargo scheduled for lifting on July 25-27, said an official with the refiner, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media." (Reuters, "India insures Iran oil imports to safeguard flow -sources," 7/10/12)
"India's finance ministry has formally issued orders exempting local refiners from paying tax on rupee purchases of Iranian crude oil, an executive at Hindustan Petroleum Corp. and a senior oil ministry official said Friday.
The move greatly reduces costs for refiners and enables them to circumvent U.S. sanctions, while simultaneously boosting Indian exports of wheat, rice and other commodities...Under existing rules, international rupee transactions by Indian companies are considered local deals and subject to high tax levels of up to 40%…State-run HPCL imported 67,000 barrels a day from Iran in the year ended March 31.
Tehran and New Delhi agreed in January to settle 45% of oil payments in rupees, as a payment mechanism through Turkey's Halkbank may be disrupted due to pressure from the U.S. and the European Union." (Wall Street Journal, "India Exempts Rupee Payments From Tax for Iranian Crude," 6/15/12)
"According to the company website, "HPCL, a fortune 500 company, is one of the major integrated oil refining and marketing companies in India. It is a Mega Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) with Navaratna status. HPCL accounts for about 20% of the market share and about 10% of the nation's refining capacity with two coastal refineries, one at Mumbai (West Coast) having a capacity of 6.5 Million Metric Tonnes Per Annum (MMTPA) and the other in Vishakapatnam (East Coast) with a capacity of 7.5 MMTPA. HPCL also holds an equity stake of 16.95% in Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL), a state-of-the-art refinery at Mangalore with a capacity of 9 MMTPA" (Company Website).
"State-run Hindustan Petroleum Corp emerged as the biggest buyer of Iranian oil in May, importing 99,000 bpd, up 66 percent from April and about 1.4 percent more than a year ago. 'May volumes are higher as HPCL took delayed delivery of an April cargo,' said a source privy to HPCL's imports . . . HPCL aims to buy 60,000 bpd oil from Iran compared with 70,000 bpd in 2011/12." (Reuters, "India cuts May Iran oil imports 38 pct-trade," 6/7/12)
As of April 2010, HPCL imports 60 thousand barrels of crude oil per day from Iran. (Reuters, "Iran’s Crude Oil Buyers in Europe, Asia," 4/18/10)
News sources in New Delhi reported significant increases in HPCL’s trade with Iran in 2009: “State-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) will triple crude oil import from Iran while reducing supplies from Iraq next fiscal.”
“HPCL plans to import 3 million tonnes of Iranian crude from National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) on term contract in 2009-10 as against the current year import of one million tonnes, sources said” (The Financial Express, "HPCL to triple crude oil import from Iran,” 2/7/09)