The US lobby groups and policy makers have taken note of the reports that Indian oil import from Iran has gone up. This has forced Indian officials to explain that the oil import from Iran will be less than what it was last year.
Officials insist that India's oil imports would fall within the broad trendlines of reduction from the previous year's total of 13.5 million metric tonnes to 11.5 million metric tonnes in the year ahead, or less, depending on market conditions in the year ahead.
Official sources explained that in January 2014, India lifted a total of around 345,000 bpd, which was up from around 217,963 bpd in December 2013. Therefore the actual increase in oil purchases over those two months was around 127,000 bpd.
India has been getting waiver from the US sanctions for cutting down on oil supply. But the reports of both India and China increasing oil import from Iran have created a flutter among the US lawmakers.
Though Indian officials won’t admit it openly, India has been aiming at reducing oil import from Iran 15% every year. According to sources most of these reports show an increase in oil import in one month, which not a correct yardstick to adopt considering the contracts for lifting oil is for every quarter.
Meanwhile, US assistant secretary of state Nisha Desai Biswal has begun her India visit. Her trip was expected to have taken place in January, but got cancelled in the wake of the diplomatic tussle between India and Iran over the arrest of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade on the charges of visa fraud.