HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd.
"HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd (HMEL), part-owned by steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, plans to stop importing oil from Iran, a company spokesman said, in a move that could hurt Iran and help New Delhi secure a waiver renewal from U.S. sanctions. euters earlier reported that HMEL had emerged as a new client for Tehran and had bought 2 million barrels oil between the start of September and mid-October. HMEL has since bought another 2 million barrels of oil, for its 180,000 barrels per day (bpd) Bathinda refinery in northern Punjab state, which was delivered at end-October by Iranian very large crude carrier Majestic, formerly known as Glory, sources privy to the development said. 'While it is a stated policy of the company not to discuss its crude procurement plan, the recent crude purchased from Iran by HMEL was based on operational requirements during stabilisation of the refinery. HMEL does not plan to buy any more crude from Iran,' an HMEL spokesman said in an emailed response to questions from Reuters . . . HMEL's decision to discontinue buying Iranian oil will be a blow to Tehran, whose exports have already declined sharply under the pressure of sanctions. India is Tehran's second-biggest crude customer . . . HMEL began buying Iranian oil without having a banking mechanism in place to settle Iran payment. The company is now trying to open an account with Turkey's Halkbank (HALKB.IS) to pay for Iranian oil, two industry sources said . . . A second source said HMEL may resume imports in the January-March quarter after India gets its waiver renewed." (Reuters, "HMEL says to halt Iran oil purchases," 11/12/12)
"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)