India to keep Iran oil shipments at current levels
Despite sanctions imposed against Iran's oil exports by the European Union (EU) and the US, an Indian minister says his country plans to keep oil shipments from Iran at around current levels.
“We are neither trying to reduce nor increase imports from Iran," India’s Oil Minister S. Jaipal Reddy said at Petrotech 2012 Conference in New Delhi on Monday.
Iran with current estimated yearly export of 15-15.5 million tons of crude, is India’s fourth biggest oil supplier after Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Kuwait.
“For India, energy security is a truly central issue. India is likely to emerge as one of the top 3rd or 4th importers in the world, of all energy forms - oil, coal, gas and uranium,” Reddy added.
The Indian minister noted that India and China alone will contribute to around 40 percent of the global growth in energy demand during 2010-2050.
On January 23, under pressure from the United States, the EU foreign ministers approved new sanctions against Iran's oil and financial sectors.
The sanctions, which prevent EU member states from purchasing Iran's oil or extending insurance coverage for tankers carrying Iranian crude, came into effect on July 1.
India has offered government-backed insurance for ships carrying crude from Iran to the South Asian country, defying the illegal sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
On August 1, the US congress approved more illegal embargoes against Tehran, which seek to punish banks, insurance companies and shippers that help Tehran sell its oil.