Two oil tankers are sailing to India's west coast from Iran after New Delhi paid 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) to partially clear debt on its purchases via the mediation of a Turkish lender, Bloomberg reported.
Desh Bhakt, owned by the Indian government, and Jag Laxmi, a Great Eastern Shipping vessel, are sailing to the western Indian port of Mangalore, carrying crude oil from Iran's main crude-export terminal, according to transmissions captured by AIL Live, the global provider of real time shipping data, on Bloomberg.
Both ships began sailing from Kharg Island late last week, the data show. Desh Bhakt, a 124,522 cubic-meter tanker, is scheduled to reach Mangalore on Aug. 11 and Jag Laxmi, a 113,383 cubic-meter vessel, may reach the port a day later, the report added.
Refiners in India have faced difficulty in finding banks to transfer payments for oil purchases from Iran due to US-led unilateral sanctions.
India owes $5 billion for crude, Iranian central bank Governor Mahmoud Bahmani said July 18.
Indian refiners, seeking to end the impasse that had threatened $9.5 billion in trade between the countries, made the payments through Turkey's state-run Halk Bankası, two people with knowledge of the matter said Aug. 5.
Payments were made by Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals, Essar Oil Ltd. and Hindustan Petroleum Corp, one of the people said.
The gridlock started in December when India's central bank scrapped a mechanism to pay for oil in euros and dollars. Indian refiners opened accounts with state-owned Union Bank of India to route money through a lender in Turkey as an experimental option, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said July 29.
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