Iran tops Kuwait as India's 5th biggest oil supplier

Iran has displaced Kuwait as India's fifth largest crude oil supplier in the first half of financial year 2015-16, selling over 6.5 million tonnes of oil.

Iran, which was India's second biggest supplier of crude oil after Saudi Arabia till 2010-11, sold 6.53 million tonnes of oil to India in April-September compared to 5.31 million tonnes crude coming from Kuwait, official sources said.

Last fiscal, Iran was India's seventh largest oil supplier, selling 10.95 million tonnes crude.

India is 80 per cent dependent on imports to meet its oil needs.

With prospects of sanctions being eased after a deal with the western powers on curbing its nuclear programme, Iran is now behind only Saudi Arabia (19.56 million tonnes), Iraq (17.01 million tonnes), Nigeria (11.59 million tonnes) and Venezuela (10.89 million tonnes) in oil supplies to India.

Sources said last fiscal Saudi Arabia was top supplier with 34.99 million tonnes of oil, followed by Iraq at 24.51 million tonnes. Venezuela was a close third with 24.40 million tonnes of oil exports to India. Kuwait supplied 17.85 million tonnes, Nigeria 17.82 million tonnes and UAE 16.11 million tonnes.

Iran supplied 10.95 million tonnes in 2014-15 fiscal, almost the same as 11 million tonnes it sold in 2013-14.

The Persian Gulf nation had in 2009-10 supplied 21.2 million tonnes of crude oil to India which came down to 18.5 million tonnes in 2010-11 and to 18.1 million tonnes in the year after.

After the West imposed sanctions, India brought down the purchases to 13.14 million tonnes in 2012-13 and had limited them in the years thereafter.

Sources said India imported 99.36 million tonnes of crude oil in April-September this fiscal, 57 per cent of which came from the Middle-East region.

Africa supplied a third of that volume while South America accounted for a little less than 16 per cent.

India spent $38.6 billion or Rs247,341 crore on crude oil imports during the first half. It had spent $112.7 billion (Rs687,416 crore) on import of 189.44 million tonnes in 2014-15 and $143 billion (Rs864,875 crore) on buying similar quantity in 2013-14.