Iran's oil payments row with India has been resolved before any interruption in crude exports to its second-biggest customer, the Iranian Oil Ministry's website Shana said yesterday.
After a successful test payment in euros through Turkey's Halkbank, Indian refiners are expected to clear over $5 billion (Dh18.35 billion) of debts built up with Iran during a lengthy US-inspired payment impasse.
"After intensive talks between India and Iran, both sides agreed to clear the debt promptly," Ahmad Galebani, head of the National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC), told Shana.
"In the coming days part of India's oil debt will be cleared and the rest will be gradually settled."
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There is no ban under US or UN sanctions aimed at Iran's disputed nuclear programme on buying Iranian crude, but they have hindered international bank payments to Tehran.
India and Iran have been looking for ways for New Delhi to pay for some 400,000 barrels per day of Iranian crude, or 12 per cent of India's oil demand, since the Reserve Bank of India halted a clearing mechanism under US pressure last December.
Executives at Indian refineries said in late July they had still not received any crude oil supply notices for August after Iran told them it would stop shipments over the ballooning debt.
Rival top exporter Saudi Arabia has moved to sell millions of extra barrels to India next month to fill the expected void in India's crude supply.
But Mohsen Gamsari, head of international affairs at state-run NIOC, told Shana there had been no cuts in Iranian crude exports to India and no plans to make any. "With the start of the international banks working hours on Monday, the amounts deposited by Indians in the designated accounts will be known," Gamsari was quoted as saying by Shana.