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India seeks extra oil from Iraq in FY13

India has sought up to 80,000 barrels per day (bpd) extra oil from Iraq in 2012/13, days after placing a similar request with top exporter Saudi Arabia to meet demand from its expanding refineries.

business Updated: Feb 29, 2012 19:13 IST

India has sought up to 80,000 barrels per day (bpd) extra oil from Iraq in 2012/13, days after placing a similar request with top exporter Saudi Arabia to meet demand from its expanding refineries.

India now buys more than 340,000 bpd oil from its third-largest crude supplier, Iraq.

"We have requested them to supply 3-4 million tonnes (60,000-80,000 bpd) more in 2012-13," oil minister S Jaipal Reddy said after a meeting with Rowsch Shaways, Iraq's deputy prime minister for trade .

Reddy said India was not looking to reduce supplies from Iran, which is facing western sanctions aimed at stopping its contentious nuclear programme that many say seeks to develop weapons. Iran denies it has such an ambition.

New Delhi publicly says it follows only UN regulations but Indian firms are planning cuts of at least 10% in Iranian imports because Western sanctions make it difficult to keep doing business with the Opec producer.

Last week, India sought up 100,000 bpd extra oil from Saudi Arabia every year, saying it was needed additional volumes to meet demand from its refineries that are expanding capacity.

Oil refining capacity in Asia's third-largest economy will rise by about 61% to 310.9 million tonnes a year or 6.22 million bpd by March 2017.

Iraq, which has the fourth-biggest oil reserves in the world, aims to boost its oil production capacity to 8-8.5 million bpd by 2017, which could vault it into the top echelon of world producers.

Iraq's deputy prime minister for energy Hussain al-Shahristani last month said his country was producing about 3 million bpd and was targetting to boost output to 500,000 bpd for 2012.

China, India and Japan, which together used to buy about 45% of Iran's crude, are looking for alternatives, including from Saudi Arabia and Iraq to gradually replace Iranian volumes.