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EghtesadOnline: Reliance Industries Limited, which operates the world's largest single-location refinery processing about 1.4 million barrels per day, said on Friday it will stop Iranian crude imports from November if the US sanctions kick in.

It also said this will not lead to supply disruption as it sources a very small quantity of its total crude imports from Iran now, Business Standard reported.

According to sources, RIL's oil imports from Iran had surged by about 45% to 67,000 bpd in 2017 after it began sourcing crude from the country in April 2016 and in the January-April 2018, it imported about 96,000 bpd.

Trade sources said recently RIL booked about 8 million barrels of US crude following the threat to reimpose sanctions, according to Financial Tribune.

India is the second largest importer of Iranian crude after China.

"Our shipment from Iran has come down to much smaller portion of our overall imports now. And by November, our thinking could be to comply with the sanctions," V Srikanth, RIL's group deputy chief financial officer, told reporters.

Without elaborating further and disclosing how much it imports from Iran now, he ruled out the possibility of supply disruptions.

"We source from all over the world and there are plenty of other crudes available in markets like Iraq and Saudi Arabia, among others," he said.

The US, in March this year, unilaterally withdrew from its 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran and reimposed economic sanctions on the country. It also threatened to penalize other countries dealing with Iran from November.

RIL began to import crude from Iran in April 2016 after a six-year hiatus after the then US government signed the Iran nuclear deal, along with five other world powers. At its peak, RIL used to source as much as 5 million tons a year from Iran.

Bowing under pressure, RIL had in January 2009 stopped exporting gasoline to Iran and from February 2010, it had stopped buying crude from it as well.

RIL, which has substantial investments in US shale gas projects, besides being a big supplier of fuel, cannot afford to overlook the sanctions. It also has other telecom businesses in the US.

 

US sanctions Iran Oil Imports India Reliance Reliance Industries single-location refinery processing