Fearing withdrawal of insurance cover to their refineries processing Iranian crude oil, most public and private oil refineries in India said on Friday that they may be forced to halt all crude oil imports from Iran.
India is Iran's second-largest buyer, taking around a quarter of its oil exports worth around $1 billion a month.
"Insurance companies have already told us that refineries processing crude oil from the Iran will no longer be covered…we are forced to look at alternate viable options over Iran," said a Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Ltd official.
"If cover is not available then all Indian refiners will have to halt imports from Iran or else they will have to take a huge risk," PP Upadhya, managing director, MRPL, was quoted as saying by foreign news agency Reuters. MRPL is India's biggest buyer of Iranian crude.
A senior official at state-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL), which is Iran's third-biggest Indian buyer, said that imports were threatened by insurance issues. "Iran imports will be stopped soon."