Shipping data released by Reuters showed that India’s imports of oil from Iran rose to 647,000 barrels per day (bpd) in February.
That was 16.7 percent more than January, and almost trebled from February 2016.
The jump meant Iran replaced regional rival Iraq as India’s second-biggest oil supplier – a role Tehran used to occupy before the US-led sanctions were imposed against the Islamic Republic in 2011 restricting the country’s oil sales among other limitations.
Saudi Arabia, nevertheless, still remains India’s top supplier, Reuters added.
The rise in Iran’s oil sales to India also came as the member countries of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) started to implement a plan to curb production by about 1.2 million bpd from the start of January.
The plan was devised to boost prices and remove a supply glut. Iran, Libya and Nigeria were, however, granted exemptions from the deal.
In the first 11 months of this fiscal year, between April and February, India imported about 542,400 bpd from Iran, compared to about 225,522 bpd for the same period a year ago. Average oil volumes supplied by Iran over this period were the highest on record, Reuters added.
In the first two months of 2017, India’s oil imports from Iran averaged 598,400 bpd compared to about 192,500 bpd a year ago, shipping data further showed.
Indian refiners including Reliance Industries Ltd, operator of the world’s biggest refinery complex at Jamnagar, have returned as buyers of Iranian oil after having stopped imports from Iran during the sanctions period, Reuters added in its report.