No problem in Iran's oil export to India: official

Oil&Gas Materials 13 July 2011 11:31 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan , Baku, July 13 /Trend/

The National Iranian Oil Company sees no problem in exporting oil to India, however it faces limits on payment and money transfers, IRNA reported quoting Managing Director of international affairs in National Iranian Oil Company Mohsen Ghamsari as saying.

"We hope the problem is solved by further arrangements; currently Iran exports 400,000 barrels of oil per day to India which is not a high figure comparing to other countries ," he said.

Previously Ghamsari stated that Indian refineries completely paid the price of Iran's oil export and current problem is the transfer of money from Iran- India's joint account

Meanwhile, it is claimed that Iran may receive gold instead of foreign currency from India with approval from the Central Bank of Iran.

If the Central Bank of Iran decides to take gold instead of foreign currency for oil payments, it can apply it, he added.

The National Iranian Oil Company also aims to increase the level of oil export to China and India in the future and is keen to restart the oil swap.

Iranian media recently reported India's debt to pay Iran's export oil reached near $9 billion while the National Iranian Oil Company has warned that it will halt oil exports.

Tension between the two countries for oil payments began December 23, when India's Central Bank (Reserve Bank of India) placed restrictions on transactions with Iran through the Clearing House System (Asian Clearing Union), believed by Washington as being used by Tehran to bypass international sanctions.

India has agreed to stop paying for its Iranian oil imports via Germany since German Chancellor Angela Merkel intervened by instructing Germany's central bank (Deutsche Bundesbank) to stop clearing payments from India headed to the bank, known as EIH, which is under U.S. but not EU sanctions.

Iran is the second-largest crude supplier to India after Saudi Arabia and accounts for about 14 percent of the country's oil import bill.