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India: No deal to choose U.S. oil over Iran’s

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Staff Writer | September 11, 2018
Iran oil
Trade war   India’s crude import needs will rise

India is clear that commercial considerations will drive its crude oil imports from the U.S. and that oil bought from Washington should not be seen as replacing Iranian petroleum, Hindu BusinessLine daily wrote.

“Yes, scaling up oil imports from the U.S. was discussed at the 2+2 dialogue between the two countries as part of measures to correct the trade deficit. But we are clear that these are commercial decisions — dependent on how competitively oil is priced and on the requirements of our refineries,” said a senior government official.

Besides, the U.S. is working on improving the infrastructure for exporting oil and gas, said the official, adding that “once done the scope of scaling up imports will be higher”.

Asked if scaling up crude imports could mean replacing Iranian oil, the official told BusinessLine, “We are dealing with two issues separately and our stand has been communicated to the U.S.”

According to Vandana Hari, a Singapore-based oil market analyst, “India’s crude import needs will rise, with increasing refining capacity and fast-growing domestic consumption. The U.S. crude is an additional option for Indian refiners.” But a refiner needs to weigh the crude suitability, taking into account the cost and freight charges, she said.

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