India Has Ended All Oil Imports From Iran, But For How Long?

India has officially ended all oil imports from Iran, India’s Ambassador Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Wednesday, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi has managed to emerge victorious from India’s elections, according to the Daily Mail.

Shringla was reluctant to say whether India agreed with the United States’ stance on the sanctions, but did say that the sanctions have hurt India, who relies on Iran in particular for a sizeable chunk of its crude oil. It now has had to find new sources of crude oil after the United States refused to extend the waiver India was enjoying up until May 2.

Reports came in suggesting that India had asked the United States for another sanction waiver so it could keep importing Iranian oil in the amount of 300,000 barrels per day, but the United States declined to extend any of the waivers.

While India is now in full compliance with the US sanctions on Iran, with the elections behind it, India may once again revisit the possibility of resuming oil purchases from Iran. India has already stated that it will review its decision to stop purchasing Iranian oil after its elections are in the review mirror.

India joins a list of other Iranian oil purchasers that have officially stopped importing the sanctioned nation’s crude oil after the waivers expired, including Turkey.

Analysts had previously doubted whether India would fully stop its purchases of cheap Iranian oil, even in light of the United States looking to hook India up with alternate supplies including Saudi Arabia and the UAE. While alternate supplies were not necessarily hard to come by, any deals with Saudi Arabia and the UAE would likely have less favorable terms than what it was getting from Iran.

India has long been Iran’s second largest oil customer, after China, getting 10% of its needs from Iran.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com