Iran says India to settle oil debt in a week: Report | business | Hindustan Times
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Iran says India to settle oil debt in a week: Report

business Updated: Aug 21, 2011 15:09 IST
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Indian refiners will settle all oil debts to Iran by the end of this month, a business daily reported on Sunday, quoting a senior oil official as saying the sanctions-related problem that held up billions of dollars of oil income was over.

The head of international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Co(NIOC), Mohsen Qamsari, was quoted by Donya-ye Eqtesad daily as saying: "Upon an agreement between the NIOC and four Indian refiners, all their debts in arrears will be paid out by the end of August."

He said there were no plans to cut oil exports to the defaulting Indian refiners when asked if the NIOC had considered any punitive measures against them.

"The four Indian refiners are paying their debts to Iran," Qamsari said, adding that exports to these refiners will continue for the rest of this month and in September.

Qamsari's remarks appeared aimed at ending doubts over whether Iran would continue exporting 400,000 barrels of oil to India in September following an uncertain August.

India, Asia's third-largest economy and Iran's second-largest oil buyer after China, racked up debts of around $5 billion after the Reserve Bank of India scrapped a clearing house system last December - a move welcomed by the United States which is trying to isolate the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program.

Indian companies are making the payments in euros via Turkish state-owned Halkbank , Indian officials have said.

Iran's Central Bank governor Mahmoud Bahmani said earlier this month that the country had received two-thirds of the oil debts from Indian buyers that had accumulated this year.

However, Donya-ye Eqtesad said oil industry analysts questioned whether India had paid more than $1 billion of its debt, and doubted it would be able to settle the rest in what was left of August.