Import of crude down on US, EU sanctions on Iran: MRPL

State-owned Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals yesterday said it could not import the contracted volume of crude from Iran in July due to the US and EU imposed economic sanctions on the country.

But the company added, it was hoping for a resumption of imports from Iran soon through Indian vessels. According to managing director PP Upadhya MRPL had to import four cargoes this month, but it could manage only one. The refiner, a subsidiary of state-run ONGC, is India's biggest importer of Iranian crude.

According to Upadhya the supply constraint was due to sanctions against Iranian vessels and Indian ships could not import the crude due to impediments in getting the cargo insured. ONGC chairman Sudhir Vasudeva said MRPL had no plans to stop imports of Iranian crude.

"We are considering alternatives (to ship crude from Iran)," Vasudeva, chairman of MRPL, said after announcing quarterly results. MRPL yesterday reported a net loss of Rs1,521 crore in the three months to June due to inventory and foreign exchange losses.

MRPL also blamed the shutdown at the refinery for about 10 days due amid a water crisis at the peak of summer for the loss.

He added, MRPL had significantly cut its long-term contract with Iran from 7.3 MT in 2011-12 to 5 MT this fiscal.