NEW DELHI (Dispatches) — Indian refiners are increasingly optimistic on winning another round of waiver to continue buying Iranian oil, at reduced levels, as New Delhi has put forward a strong case to Washington that it will not be able to afford zero Iranian crude, delegates attending a three-day petroleum conference said.
With New Delhi working on an alternative payment method for shipping in Iranian oil, Indian state-run refiners are hoping that they might have to replace only a part of their Iranian purchases with cargoes from other origins. They may not have to completely stop purchases, when the first six-month waiver expires.
"The market expects an extension of the U.S. waiver, with some volumes being cut. Let's wait and watch how things turn out at the diplomatic level," Emkay Global Financial Services' senior oil and gas analyst Sabri Hazarika said.
Most Indian state-run refiners were still going ahead with their planned purchases despite uncertainty over whether they would manage to get a waiver extension.
"The issue of the next round of waiver is being dealt with at a diplomatic level," a senior oil ministry official told S&P Global Platts on the sidelines of the Petrotech conference.
While state-run Indian Oil Corp. had plans to ship in up to 5 million barrels in the first two months of the year, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. is likely to aim for 2 million barrels in February, down 1 million barrels from January.
Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd. and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd. are expected to take 1 million barrels each in February, oil ministry sources said.