India to Cut Iran Oil Imports for Sixth Year If Sanctions Remain

India will cut crude imports from Iran for a sixth year if U.S. and European Union sanctions remain in place.

The South Asian country will buy about 9.5 million metric tons of crude from Iran in the year ending March 2015, R.K. Singh, joint secretary for refineries at India’s oil ministry, said today in New Delhi. That’s down 14 percent from India’s target for this year and would be the sixth annual decline.

India plans to buy 11 million tons of Iranian crude this financial year after the European Union eased its sanctions on insuring cargoes following a six-month accord in November between the Persian Gulf state, the U.S. and five other nations. The parties will implement the agreement on Jan. 20.

Three state-run refiners, Indian Oil Corp., Hindustan Petroleum Corp. and Chennai Petroleum Corp., said earlier this month they will defer resuming purchases of Iranian crude by at least three months, having failed to get reinsurance for shipments after Europe said it would relax a coverage ban.

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