India has extended approval by six months, beginning June 28, for two Iranian ship underwriters to provide insurance for container, tanker and bulk vessels calling at Indian ports, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. The decision to relax sanctions against Iran by the West has enabled tankers to transport oil and petroleum products from Iran.
The extension will let India, the world’s fourth-largest energy consumer, import more of Iran’s crude oil, should Iraq’s conflict move south and interfere with Iraq’s southern oil production. The EIA reports that India was the “fourth-largest consumer of crude oil and petroleum products in the world in 2013.” Only the United States, China, and Japan use more petroleum products. India depends heavily on imported Middle Eastern crude oil. When Western insurers stopped covering ships hauling crude oil as part of sanctions imposed against Iran, India had to go elsewhere for oil. Iraq became a top supplier, but that may change if fighting disrupts Iraq’s oil production.
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