Iraq to fill void left by Iran for India’s petroleum needs
Iraq has shown keenness to enhance economic relations with India. India is also looking for a strategic partnership with the gulf nation. Iran has not expressed its interest towards the Indian refiners to enhance their crude oil import engagement with Baghdad, but also explore the possibility of acquiring oil and gas assets by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Videsh Limited and Oil India Limited.
As India has already reduced its oil exports from Iran due sanctions imposed by the U.S. and the European Union, it is also looking for a supplier to compensate for the shortfall.
Noticeably, Iraq has already emerged as the second leading crude oil exporter to India, moving ahead of Iran. India is importing around $20 billion worth of crude oil from Iraq and this is bound to go up in the coming months. Saudi Arabia, however, still remains the largest exporter of crude oil to India. India imported 171.41 million tonnes of crude oil in 2011-12. Of this, 32.63 million tonnes came from Saudi Arabia, 24.51 million tonnes from Iraq, 17.67 million tonnes from Kuwait, and 15.79 million tonnes from the U.A.E. India imported 2,71,200 barrels per day (bpd) of oil from Iran between April and February 2012-13, which was below the government’s target of 3,10,000 bpd for the fiscal year which ended on March 31, 2013.