Payment row with India over crude exports resolved: Iran

New Delhi: After threatening to snap oil supplies, Iran on Sunday said a payment row over crude exports to India has been resolved after Indian refiners began paying for the oil they buy through a Turkish bank.

The Iranian Oil Ministry`s website, SHANA, quoted National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) Managing Director Ahmad Qalebani as saying that "the problem of India payments for imported oil from Iran has been solved."

Refiners like Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) have opened rupee accounts in the New Delhi branch of Union Bank of India, which will route euro payments to state-owned Turkiye Halk Bankasi (Halkbank) in Istanbul.

Halkbank will then transfer that money to the account of NIOC, sources involved in the process said here.

MRPL and private sector refiner Essar Oil last week transfered a small payment to Halkbank to test the conduit, which will be used to clear over USD 7 billion in outstanding dues to Iran that have accumulated.

Indian Oil (IOC) and Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) will make payments next once the test payments are successful.

Qalebani on the website was quoted as saying that "part of the arrear payments would be settled this week."

SHANA quoted NIOC`s Director for International Affairs Mohsen Qamsari saying that "the two sides had reached an agreement on the arrear payments… related bank accounts have been announced to Indian side and the amount deposited into our accounts would be revealed by reopening the international banks on Monday."

He said Iran`s 400,000 barrels per day of oil exports to India were "going on as usual."