TEHRAN (NIOC) _ The latest market data show that imports of crude oil by India’s Essar from Iran almost doubled in December.
Essar imported around 68,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian oil in December, up some 96 percent compared with the previous month.
Essar’s overall shipments from Tehran rose 0.6 percent at about 117,700 bpd in the first nine months of the contract year beginning 1 April 2015 added.
India's oil imports from Iran fell by about 23 percent in 2015 as refiners slowed purchases early in the year to keep imports within the limits of sanctions.
The report further added that Essar shipped an average 99,500 from Iran in 2015, about 23 percent less than the previous year.
The company’s total crude imports in December declined 11 percent to about 298,000 bpd, the data showed. In 2015, it imported about 8 percent less oil compared with a year earlier because of a month long shutdown of its refinery for upgrade, Reuters added.
India is seen as Iran's biggest oil client after China. However, New Delhi was forced to slash crude purchases from Iran due to the US-led sanctions which hit Iran’s energy sector back in 2012.
Indian refineries should pay some $6.5 billion in outstanding oil dues to Iran that has been blocked in New Delhi banks as a result of the sanctions.
India has already starting the proceedings to make the outstanding payments to Iran in several installments each valuing at several hundred million dollars.