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ONGC chief says Government should intervene to promote India, Iran crude oil trade

Hyderabad , Thu, 16 Feb 2012 ANI

Hyderabad, Feb 16 (ANI): Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) chief Sudhir Vasudeva on Thursday said the trade ties between India and Iran depends upon the political solutions to be found by the governments of the two countries.


"This crisis would have to be met at the level of the government. This cannot be fought at the levels of the corporate. Corporates have nothing to do with this. This is a situation, which has arisen out of political compulsion," Vasudeva told the media here.


"So, I hope that the politicians and the governments of the countries will definitely find a solution," he added.


Emphasizing the importance of Iran as an oil-provider for India, Vasudeva said the ONGC gets about 12 percent of crude oil from the country.


"We are dependent, in the sense that, we get about 12 percent of requirement from Iran and as far as ONGC is concerned, then our subsidiary MRPL (Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemical Limited), they get about 7 million tonnes of the total 12.5 million tonnes which they process, only from Iran. From that view point Iran is quite important for our operation," he said.


Vasudeva further expressed hope that India and Iran will find a solution to the current situation, as both countries share healthy trade relations.


"So far, Iran has been very nice to India, as a whole. I can talk in the context of MRPL, that last year when the ACU (Asian Clearing Union) mechanism had broken down, they continued supplying us crude for months together, without even bothering about whether the payment would come or not," said Vasudeva.


"Hopefully things were resolved and all the payments have been made and I hope that some solution will be fond as we go along," he added.


India's determination to pursue trade with Iran despite western sanctions were put to test as wary exporters back away from fresh deals after a bomb attack in New Delhi on Israel embassy blamed it on Tehran.


Up to now, India has not gone along with new financial sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union to punish Iran over its disputed nuclear programme. Instead, New Delhi has come up with elaborate trade and barter arrangements to pay for oil supplies.


Iran is the second-largest producer in the Middle East, and the European Union has banned Iranian crude exports from July 1, prompting buyers of its crude to look for alternative supplies.


New Delhi has good relations with both Iran and Israel, and so the attack makes its diplomatic balancing act between the two countries all the more difficult, and has thrust the mounting tension between the Middle East rivals onto its doorstep. (ANI)


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