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Iran topples Kuwait to become India’s 5th largest oil supplier


 New Delhi :  Iran has toppled Kuwait to become India’s fifth largest crude oil supplier in the first half of 2015-16 fiscal year, selling over 6.5 million tons of oil.

Iran, which was India’s second biggest supplier of crude oil after Saudi Arabia till 2010-11, sold 6.53 million tons of oil to India in April-September as compared to 5.31 million tons crude coming from Kuwait, official sources said.

Last fiscal, Iran was India’s seventh largest oil supplier, selling 10.95 million tons crude.

India is 80 per cent dependent on imports to meet its oil needs.

With prospects of sanctions being eased after a deal with the western powers on curbing its nuclear programme, Iran is now behind only Saudi Arabia (19.56 million tons), Iraq (17.01 million tons), Nigeria (11.59 million tons) and Venezuela (10.89 million tons) in oil supplies to India.

Sources said last fiscal Saudi Arabia was top supplier with 34.99 million tons of oil, followed by Iraq at 24.51 million tons. Venezuela was a close third with 24.40 million tons of oil exports to India. Kuwait supplied 17.85 million tons, Nigeria 17.82 million tons and UAE 16.11 million tons.

Iran supplied 10.95 million tons in 2014-15 fiscal, almost the same as 11 million tons it sold in 2013-14.

The Persian Gulf nation had in 2009-10 supplied 21.2 million tons to India which came down to 18.5 million tons in 2010-11 and to 18.1 million tons in the year after.

After the west imposed sanctions, India brought down the purchases to 13.14 million tons in 2012-13 and had limited them in the years thereafter.

Sources said India imported 99.36 million tons of crude oil in April-September this fiscal, 57 per cent of which came from the Middle-East region.

Africa supplied a third of that volume while South America accounted for a little less than 16 per cent.

India spent USD 38.6 billion or Rs 247,341 crore on crude oil imports during the first half. It had spent USD 112.7 billion (Rs 687,416 crore) on import of 189.44 million tons in 2014-15 and USD 143 billion (Rs 864,875 crore) on buying similar quantity in 2013-14.

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