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.
After a successful test payment in euros through Turkey’s Halkbank,
Indian refiners are expected to clear over $5 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 Ghalebani, 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.”
There is no ban under US or UN sanctions aimed at Iran’s disputed
nuclear program 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 percent 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.
Saudi Arabia has agreed to send millions of extra barrels next
month to fill the expected hole in Indian refiners’ supply and an
industry source said their orders had not been canceled by Sunday
But Mohsen Ghamsari, head of international affairs at 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,” Ghamsari was quoted as saying by SHANA.
An Iranian official who spoke on condition of anonymity told
Reuters India would pay mainly in euros but also use other
currencies to settle its oil debt to the Islamic state.
“Both sides are determined to resolve the problems through
different methods,” the official said.
“Different currencies will be used by India to pay its debt to
Iran but the main part of the payment will be in euro.”