India has not faced any problems in paying for crude oil it buys from Iran, but needs to be prepared for all eventualities, oil minister S Jaipal Reddy said on Wednesday.
“We continue to be optimistic,” said Reddy. “Iran continues to be positive. However we have to be prepared for all eventualities.”
An official said Turkey’s Turkiye Halk Bankasi AS, the bank through which India routes payments in euros to Iran for about 370,000 barrels per day of crude oil supplies, has so far not declined to be an intermediary.
“All that they (Turkey) have said is that they would not like to open new accounts but will continue to service existing accounts (through which payments are routed to Iran),” the official said, adding that not a single payment has defaulted since India began using the Turkey conduct in July last year.
The official said India will continue to buy crude oil from Iran, but would like to replace a part of the supplies with other sources like Saudi Arabia.
Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd, the largest buyer of Iranian oil, at 142,000 bpd, and other refiners are yet to renew their term import contracts with Iran for the year beginning April.
Essar Oil is looking at replacing 10% of the 110,000 bpd of oil it buys from Iran with other Gulf sources.