NEW DELHI - India's biggest buyer of Iranian
oil, MRPL, has bought Azeri, Saudi and Emirati crude to replace imports from
Iran in July and it may halt purchases from Tehran altogether as sanctions make
shipments more difficult, industry sources said on Monday.
exports to Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals (MRPL) would be a blow to Iran,
which has seen overseas sales decline by more than half from a year ago due to
U.S. and European Union sanctions.
The sanctions against Iran's nuclear
program, which the West thinks is aimed at making weapons, are meant to cut
the country's oil revenues.
"MRPL has initiated steps to halt its imports
from Iran. It is facing problems on a daily basis ... government pressure,
sanctions and the latest is Iran's threat to shut the Strait of Hormuz," said
one of the sources, The source declined to detail the steps MRPL was
The refiner has been forced to restrict its lifting from Iran to
a fifth of the planned 3.3 million barrels per day (bpd) in July.