Bloomberg's businessweek.com, quoting informed sources, is reporting that Indian refiners are seeking Saudi crude as Iran warns of an impending cutoff of its oil deliveries to the country. Iran has said in recent days that it will cutoff all deliveries by August 1 if India could not find a way to settle its outstanding bills totaling more than $5 billion. Indian refiners say the economic sanctions against Iran have made banks unwilling to transfer funds to Iran.
“Indian refiners asked Saudi Arabian Oil Co. [Saudi Aramco] for at least one additional shipment in August as a payment dispute jeopardizes Iranian cargoes, four people with knowledge of the matter said yesterday,” Bloomberg BusinessWeek said [businessweek.com, 20 July].
“Iran hasn’t yet given Indian refiners loading dates or shipping amounts for August, three of the people familiar said yesterday. Iran typically provides this information by the middle of each month for the following month’s supplies, they said,” the report added.India imports more than 20 million metric tons of crude from Iran annually, at a value of nearly $10 billion, making it the country’s second-biggest supplier after Saudi Arabia.