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"India could buy more crude from Iran in the next four months and intends to increase purchases further in the next fiscal year, the petroleum secretary said, after a deal last weekend eased some sanctions on the OPEC member…One Indian state-run refiner, Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd. (HPCL.NS), has already said it is ready to look at buying more Iranian oil now that some of the constraints on refinery insurance have been lifted…HPCL, which also stopped purchases, remained cautious after its Vizag refinery was hit by fire twice since April, keeping it focused on the problems with insurance coverage. With the latest deal easing insurance-related sanctions, HPCL is considering resuming Iranian oil purchases, its head of refineries B. K. Namdeo said on Monday." (Reuters, "India looking at more Iranian oil this year and next," 11/27/13)
"India could step up imports from Iran next month and start transferring billions of dollars owed it for oil as early as next week following a deal to curb Tehran's nuclear programme…India is Iran's second-largest buyer and currently owes Tehran about $5.3 billion for oil shipments, according to government and refining sources. The deal also lifts insurance restrictions on Iranian shipments, which could allow Indian refiner HPCL to import an extra 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) in December to March - about a quarter more than the daily average over the first nine months of 2013. Sunday's deal called for Iran's oil exports to continue at current sanctioned levels of around 1 million bpd, and it was not clear whether this would include HPCL's resumption of volumes. 'Till yesterday this crude was not under consideration because of insurance hurdles, but now because of this recent development ... Iranian crude has come into active consideration of HPCL,' the state-run company's head of refineries, B. K. Namdeo, told Reuters. Payments could potentially resume through Turkey's state-run Halkbank, a route used until February when it was blocked by sanctions…A government official also said that payments would be expedited once the payment mechanism via Turkey opens up. 'If that Halkbank route opens up ... rather than pushing this to a later date, perhaps this money will go to the Iranians sooner rather than later,' the official with direct knowledge of the matter said." (Reuters, "India ready to start Iran oil cash transfer after deal," 11/25/13)
"Indian refiners have asked the government to clarify if they can pay Iran for crude in euros after the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) requested settlement of some debts through a Turkish bank, Indian officials said on Wednesday…India now owes Iran about $5.3 billion for oil imports, government and refining sources said last week. In mid-October, NIOC informed Indian refiners that Halkbank was ready to restart channelling the payments to Iran, the sources told Reuters, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter. NIOC said it had been informed that Halkbank could be used again by Iran's central bank. It was unclear from the communication from NIOC what had changed that would allow the payments to restart without contravening U.S. sanctions, the sources said…Indian refiners have yet to restart payments via Halkbank and have asked the government for guidance, the sources said…Indian refiners Essar Oil, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd, Hindustan Petroleum and Indian Oil Corp have all bought crude from Iran and owe payment, sources said." (Reuters, "Indian refiners puzzle over Iran request for euro oil payment-sources," 11/13/13)
"India's Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd may import about 6 million barrels of Iranian oil by March 31 if New Delhi starts a fund to back local insurers for covering plants processing oil from the sanctions-hit nation, its head of refineries said. HPCL halted Iranian oil imports from April due to problems getting coverage for refineries running Iranian crude because of EU sanctions banning European reinsurers from the business…The oil ministry has said the insurance problem will be resolved, HPCL's head of refineries B.K. Namdeo told reporters. 'This month, things could get formalised. For the remaining four months (of the fiscal year), we can get around 0.8 million tonnes from Iran,' he said. That would represent nearly 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian oil shipments over the December-March period, about a quarter more than what India was taking over the first nine months of the calendar year. But HPCL's resumption of the Iran oil imports would hinge on insurance coverage, and India's efforts since February to create the local reinsurance fund have so far yielded no results…To make up for lost Iranian barrels HPCL has raised imports from Iraq, Namdeo said. HPCL also buys about 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) from Saudi Arabia and 20,000 bpd from UAE, he said. HPCL's decision to forego the Iranian barrels from April stood it in good stead as there was no question about its insurance coverage when an under-construction cooling tower at its 166,000 bpd Vizag caught fire in August. The Vizag refinery is currently operating at 70 percent capacity and may reach full rates in the first week of February, Namdeo said. HPCL has no plans to import fuel as supplies have been arranged from other plants to meet demand, he said. HPCL also operates a 130,000 bpd plant in western Maharashtra state. It has a stake in the 180,000 bpd Bathinda refinery in northern India, which is operated by Hindustan-Mittal Energy Ltd, part-owned by LN Mittal. Earlier on Tuesday, HPCL said its September quarter net profit fell 86 percent." (Reuters, "India's HPCL may buy 6 mln bbls Iran oil if govt backs insurers," 11/12/13)
"Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (HPCL) will forego buying Iranian crude even as Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. (MRPL) accepts an offer from the Persian Gulf nation to waive shipping charges. Refiners want to import crude in rupees amid a 13% slump against the dollar this year while Iran doesn’t want to accept the Indian currency, according to the government in New Delhi. While MRPL has accepted an offer for free shipping, BPCL and HPCL haven’t brought oil from the Islamic Republic since April...The free shipping will translate into a saving of a little less than a dollar for every barrel of crude, according to the official, who declined to provide further details of MRPL’s purchases. BPCL and HPCL haven’t bought Iranian crude in the financial year that began in April because local insurers refused to cover the risks for using the oil. An Indian government plan to prepare a Rs2,000 crore ($319 million) insurance fund for future purchases from Iran is yet to be implemented. 'Only after the outstanding issues are resolved, we can discuss pricing and discounts for Iran crude,' said B.K. Namdeo, the director of refineries at HPCL, the country’s third-largest state refiner. 'What’s the point now to discuss discounts if we are not able to import?' India plans to purchase 11 million metric tonnes of Iranian crude in the year ending 31 March, according to oil secretary Rae. That would be a drop of more than 15% from the previous year." (Live Mint, "BPCL, HPCL forego Iran oil as rival gets free shipping," 11/8/13)
"India aims to cut Iranian crude imports by 15 percent this fiscal year, the oil secretary said on Tuesday, differing from the oil minister who recently said he wanted to hold the shipments at last year's levels. Ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the United States last week, Oil Minister M. Veerappa Moily said Iranian imports should be held steady at 260,000 barrels per day (bpd) to save as much as $8.5 billion in foreign exchange as Tehran accepts partial payment in rupees. However, Oil Secretary Vivek Rae, the Petroleum Ministry's top bureaucrat, said on Tuesday that India targets oil imports of around 220,000 bpd from Iran in the year through March 2014…Three other refiners - Hindustan Petroleum, Bharat Petroleum and Indian Oil Corp- can each import about 1 million to 1.5 million tonnes for the year, or about 20,000 bpd." (Reuters, "India aims to cut Iran oil imports by 15 pct - oil secretary," 10/1/13)
"India's imports of Iranian oil shot up in August to more than four times the volume taken in July as one refiner resumed purchases after a four-month break, but the average annual pace of shipments is still far below last year's levels . . . Only two refiners - Essar Oil and state-owned Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemical Ltd - bought Iranian oil in August . . . MRPL and another state refiner, Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd , had halted Iranian oil imports in April, primarily over the insurance issue. However, as they waited for the government plan to shore up the local insurers, some refiners determined that there are suitable substitutes for Iranian crude. HPCL, for instance, has significantly raised imports of Iraq's Basrah oil to replace its lost Iranian barrels, and is not switching back this fiscal year. 'In our crude import strategy for this year we have not factored in Iranian oil imports,' said an HPCL source." (Reuters, "India's Iran oil imports far below levels last year -trade," 9/20/13)
“Hindustan Petroleum will resume buying Iranian oil if the government unveils an adequate back-up plan for local insurers to provide cover for its refineries, its head of refineries B. K. Namdeo said on Monday. HPCL along with MRPL had stopped purchases due to difficulties getting insurance for refineries processing Iranian oil, forcing New Delhi to look at providing its own reinsurance after European firms backed out over sanctions. India is thinking of providing a 20 billion rupee state guarantee to back local insurance for plants using Iranian oil, an industry source said last week. 'We are waiting for a clarification from the finance ministry how they are going about it... If insurance clause comes in our favour then we will process Iranian oil,' Namdeo told a news conference. He said the company in its annual strategy for this fiscal year had kept a provision to buy 20,000 bpd Iranian oil. But a company official said on condition of anonymity that the planned 40 billion rupees reinsurance cover was not sufficient as HPCL's 'one time maximum permissible claim under the current policy is about 54 billion rupees.'" (Reuters, "HPCL to Resume Iran Oil Imports if Insurance Solved," 8/12/13)
"In a sign that Western sanctions weigh heavily on it, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) has virtually slammed the door on Iran for crude oil imports during 2013-14 and has instead increased imports from Iraq. The HPCL’s strategy paper for crude imports during 2013-14 — a copy of which is available with The Hindu — states that because of the sanctions the U.S. and the European Union imposed on Iran, it is proposed to have only an optional contract of one million tonne with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC); and it will be used on a need basis, if only there is no negative impact on HPCL business. The existing term contract for April 2012-March 2013 was 2 million tonne (40,000 barrels a day), with an optional contract of 1 million tonne (20,000 barrels a day) for 2013-14. But NIOC turned the proposal down, saying it did not have a policy to make a mere optional contract. 'Hence, there is no crude-lifting contract with NIOC for 2013-14. This is due to the ongoing US/EU sanctions on Iran,' the paper says. The HPCL’s stand runs counter to the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry’s stand that it is not guided by the Western sanctions while making crude imports from Iran and that it would follow the sanctions if only they were sponsored by the United Nations. However, the HPCL has stepped up its engagement with Iraq. The paper says the existing term contract with Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Company (SOMO) for 2.25 million tonne (45,000 barrels a day) of Basra light crude has been revised to 3 million tonne (60,000 barrels a day). It will be in effect till December 2013... The HPCL’s total crude oil requirement for 2013-14 is estimated at 18 million tonne... Listing strategic objectives, the document says that securing supplies by diversifying the pool of suppliers and insulating consignments against disruption due to geo-political reasons are the factors that will guide the oil purchases during 2013-14... India imported 2,71,200 barrels per day from Iran between April 2012 and February 2013, which was below the government’s target of 3,10,000 barrels per day for the fiscal ended on March 31. Imports from Iran decreased to 7.3 per cent from April last to February 2013, from 11 per cent." (The Hindu, "HPCL Slams Door on Iran for Crude Oil Imports," 7/28/2013)
"Two refiners - Hindustan Petroleum Corp, and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd - halted Iranian oil purchases in April due to insurance problems." (Reuters, "Iran offers insurance to India refiners to spur oil sales," 5/27/2013)
"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)