India’s Ministry of Petroleum has claimed that crude imports from sanctions-hit Iran witnessed a massive jump this June in comparison to last year; disproving reports published by global research agencies that India had heavily cut down crude purchases from Iran due to American sanctions.
Indian refineries imported 48% more Iranian crude in June this year as compared to imports from June 2017, according to government estimates, Sputnik reported.
'Indian refineries imported 1.9 million metric tons (MMT) of crude oil from Iran in June 2017 and placed an order for 2.82 MMT in June 2018,' Dharmendra Pradhan, India's oil minister said in parliament on Monday.
However, the minister did not provide the amount of oil shipped from Iran during the current month. Presenting monthly details, Minister Pradhan informed parliament that Iranian crude imports had witnessed an 11.8% increase in March, 16.5% in April and 16% in May in comparison to the corresponding months of last year.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani visited New Delhi in February this year and during his trip India had promised to increase crude oil imports from Iran from 205,000 barrels per day in 2017-18 to 396,000 barrels per day in 2018-19.
Meanwhile, the Indian Oil Ministry has revealed that India and China have discussed the possibility of forming an 'oil buyers' club' that can negotiate better terms with sellers.
India is the second buyer of Iran’s oil following China.