Indian, European refiners get ready to buy Iranian oil

Indian refiners and at least one European refiner are re-evaluating their crude purchases to make room for Iranian oil in the second half of this year, anticipating that U.S. sanctions will be lifted, company officials and trading sources said.

Former U.S. President Trump abandoned the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on Tehran in late 2018.

Until then, Europe and Turkey had consumed close to 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian oil. India, Iran’s biggest client after China, was buying as much as 480,000 bpd in the fiscal year beginning April 2018.

At least one European refiner has held in-depth discussions with Iran’s state oil firm NIOC on resuming purchases and Indian refiners say they plan to reduce spot purchases to make way for Iranian contract barrels.

India, the world’s third largest oil consumer and importer, halted imports from Tehran in 2019 after a temporary waiver granted to some countries expired.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration and Iran have engaged in indirect talks to revive the pact for Tehran to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for a lifting of sanctions.

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