For the first time ever, Iran has surpassed Saudi Arabia to become India’s top crude oil supplier.
Iran, which was India’s second biggest supplier of crude oil after Saudi Arabia till 2010-11, sold 759,700 barrels of oil per day to India in October, 56 per cent more than a year ago.
This was larger than 717,000 bpd of oil sold by Saudi Arabia, traditionally India’s biggest oil supplier, industry data showed,Iraq supplied 488,000 bpd.
As western nations imposed sanctions against Iran, the Islamic nation had been relegated to seventh place in 2013-14 and 2014-15 out of the 50-odd nations India sources its crude oil from.
But with the lifting of sanctions in January this year, crude oil imports have steadily climbed. India imported 12.7 MT of crude oil in 2015-16, up from 11 MT in the previous two fiscals.
That made it sixth largest supplier of oil to India.
Saudi Arabia has been India’s top supplier of crude oil - selling 35 MT of oil in 2014-15 and 40.04 MT in 2015-16.
However, for the year as a whole Saudi Arabia continues to be the top supplier with 830,000 bpd of oil.
It was followed by Iraq at second spot with 784,000 bpd. Iran averaged 456,400 bpd.
Private sector Essar Oil is the biggest buyer of Iranin oil at 253,600 bpd, followed by Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) at 201,000 bpd.
Indian Oil Corp (IOC) bought 186,000 bpd.
Iran had supplied 10.95 million tons of oil to India in 2014-15 fiscal, almost the same as 11 million tons it sold in 2013-14.
The Persian Gulf nation had in 2009-10 supplied 21.2 million tons to India, which came down to 18.5 million tons in 2010-11 and 18.1 million tons in the year after.
After the West imposed sanctions, India brought down the purchases to 13.14 million tons in 2012-13 and had limited them in the years thereafter.