New Delhi: Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has bought crude oil from Iran after a break of 6 years and is looking to strike a long-term fixed quantity deal, after lifting of sanctions against the Persian Gulf country.
RIL, which operates the world's biggest refining complex at Jamnagar in
Gujarat, is looking at quickly ramping up purchases to the earlier
levels of about 5 million tonnes a year.
"Re-established relationship with Iran, sourced crude oil post lifting
of sanctions," the company said in an investor presentation after
reporting its 2015-16 earnings.
Bowing to international pressure to isolate Iran over its nuclear
programme, RIL in January 2009 had stopped exporting gasoline or petrol
to Iran. And from February 2010, it stopped buying crude oil from the
West Asian nation.
RIL, which has substantial investments in US shale gas projects, besides
being a big supplier of fuel, shelved its business with Iran over fears
of being sanctioned.
With sanctions on Iran ending in January this year, RIL has re-established its ties with the country.
Its joint CFO V Srikanth, in a press briefing in Mumbai on Friday, said
the company is engaged in talks with Iran for bigger supplies, including
a term or annual fixed quantity contract.
"We have had engagements with Iran before the sanctions and they have grades of crude that are attractive to us," he added.
Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) and Essar Oil Ltd are
the main buyers of Iranian oil in India, importing between them about 10
million tonnes a year.
Besides, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) is looking at doubling imports from Iran
to 4 mt this year. Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) too may pick up
small quantities this year.
Soon after, Iran reached a deal with western nations on curbing its
nuclear programme in exchange of lifting of sanctions in July last year,
a top RIL official had stated that the company would look again at
starting petrol and diesel exports to the Persian Gulf nation.
Nearly 63 per cent of the oil products from RIL's refining complex at
Jamnagar, with a total capacity of 62 million tonnes, are currently
RIL ships petrol to the Middle East, the US, South-East Asia and
Australia while diesel is exported to Europe, Africa, South East Asia,
the investor presentation said.
"Successfully placed product into key markets of Turkey, East Africa and Australia," it said.
Domestically, it has operationalised 950 out of the 1,400 petrol pumps
it has. "Achieved highest retail outlet throughput of about 240
kilolitre per month in March 2016 compared to all key competitors," the
News Source: NDTV