India's state-owned refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp Limited (HPCL) said it may buy about 6 million barrels of Iranian crude oil by March 31 despite the US-engineered sanctions against Iran’s oil sector.
“This month, things could get formalized. For the remaining four months (of the fiscal year), we can get around 0.8 million tons from Iran,” HPCL executive director B. K. Namdeo said.
In India, the government's financial year runs from April 1 to March 31, press tv reported.
The HPCL halted importing Iranian crude oil from April due to problems getting coverage for refineries running Iranian crude because of EU sanctions banning European reinsurers from the business.
Indian oil ministry has promised to settle the insurance problem as well.
The amount, which represents nearly 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Iran’s oil shipments over the December-March period, would be a quarter more than what New Delhi was importing over the first nine months of the calendar year.
India is among Asia’s major importers of energy, and relies on Iran to meet a portion of its energy requirements.
At the beginning of 2012, the United States and the European Union (EU) imposed new sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors.
The sanctions, which prevent the EU member states from purchasing Iran's oil or extending insurance coverage for tankers carrying Iranian crude, came into effect on July 1, 2012.
The sanctions were imposed based on the accusation that Iran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran rejects the allegation as baseless.