India, the second-largest consumer of Iranian oil after China, said it was now importing 14 million tons of crude from Iran. "We are buying Iran oil," Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told reporters on Sunday after a group of 20 finance minister meetings in Washington.
The pending U.S. penalties and a European embargo on Iranian oil starting from July has helped push oil prices above $110 a barrel. Mukherjee said the high oil prices has "caused immense problems" to the Indian economy.
"When I presented the budget of the last year, I assumed the average oil price would be $90 $90-95," he said. "But actually we had to bear out average price of $115 per barrel for Brent crude."
REUTERS: Indian shipping firms to carry Iran crude despite reduced insurance
Indian shipping firms will continue to transport Iranian crude even if limited insurance coverage due to tightening Western sanctions leaves them financially exposed to a spill or accident, a top executive and industry sources said. Tough new European Union sanctions aimed at stopping Iran's oil exports to Europe also ban EU insurers and reinsurers from covering tankers carrying Iranian crude anywhere in the world from July. Around 90 percent of the world's tanker insurance is based in the West, so the measures threaten shipments to Iran's top Asian buyers China, India, Japan and South Korea. (read full report)
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