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Exclusive: Nayara Energy begins cutting Iran oil imports - sources

Reuters  |  NEW DELHI 

By Nidhi Verma

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian refiner Nayara Energy, one of the country's biggest buyers of Iranian oil, began cutting imports this month after the scrapped a nuclear deal with and said it would re-impose tough sanctions, three people familiar with knowledge of the matter said.

Previously named Essar Oil, Nayara was bought by Russian and partners in a $12.9 billion deal last year. It typically buys around 5.5-6 million barrels a month from Iran, according to data made available to from industry and shipping sources.

The cuts by Nayara provide the latest indication that Asian buyers will cut orders from after U.S. last month pulled out from the 2015 accord between and world powers that lifted sanctions on in exchange for curbs to its nuclear programme.

"Nayara will be lifting about 40-50 percent less than the average volumes, limiting its intake of Iranian to about 3-4 million barrels in a month," said one of the people. All three sources declined to be identified as they were not authorised to talk to media.

Iran's exports hit 2.7 million barrels per day (bpd) in May, the Ministry's agency SHANA reported earlier this month.

India, the world's third-biggest and importer, imports about 4.5 million bpd, according to the data from shipping and industry sources.

Asked by whether Nayara plans to reduce monthly Iranian by 40-50 percent, the company said, "There are no specific cut-backs planned as of now," adding "we are still seeking clarifications from all concerned."

The U.S. sanctions on Iran's petroleum industry will take effect after a 180-day "wind-down period" ending on Nov. 4 but many European refiners, as well as buyers in Asia, are already winding down Iranian

The cuts by Nayara have kicked in before similar moves by Indian peers. Reliance Industries, owner of the world's biggest single refining complex, plans to halt from from October-November, sources said last month.

Nayara's said last week the refiner did not expect problems in finding alternative supplies in should it reduce Iranian orders. Anand said Nayara would leverage the supply and trading network of its major stakeholders, and Swiss Trafigura, to replace Iranian oil.

Officially, last week said the country has adopted a "wait and watch" policy pending clarity on the impact of U.S. sanctions.

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by and Kenneth Maxwell)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, June 11 2018. 20:46 IST