As per the report compiled by Thomson Reuters Oil Research and Forecasts, Iran has for the first time ever surpassed Saudi Arabia to become India’s top crude oil supplier. It was revealed by ship tracking data. Till 2010-11 Iran held the second biggest oil supplier after Saudi Arabia but after the sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear development programme, Iraq took the space. After sanctions were lifted in January 2016, oil import from Iran has taken a quantum leap and in comparison to Oct 2015, the import from Iran in Oct 2016 has raised to three fold.
India imported 7,89,000 barrels per day (bpd) from Iran compared to 6,97,000 bpd supplied by Saudi Arabia. In the January to October 2016 period, Saudi Arabia still holds India’s top supply spot, at an average of 8,30,000 bpd against Iraq’s 7,84,000 bpd and Iran’s 4,56,400 bpd.
Iran produces almost 4 million bpd of oil and exports 2.4 million bpd. Its arch rival Saudi Arabia, has increased its capacity to refine oil rather than exporting more crude. Iranian price discounts has attracted purchases from India’s programme to build up its strategic petroleum reserves (SPR). For the SPR stocks, India imported 2 million barrels of Iran and is going to import another 4 million barrels in November 2016.