BAR­RELLING THROUGH

Business Today - - THE BUZZ - Anilesh S Ma­ha­jan

AF­TER OR­DER­ING

nine mil­lion bar­rels from Ira­nian sup­pli­ers, oil com­pa­nies in In­dia can’t find do­mes­tic in­sur­ers to back the de­ci­sion. The US has only of­fered re­place­ment of car­goes from Saudi Ara­bia to In­dian re­fin­ers. Saudi oil, how­ever, is ex­pen­sive and Iran is geopo­lit­i­cally im­por­tant for New Delhi. As a re­sult, In­dian Oil and MRPL placed or­ders with Iran while Hin­dus­tan Petroleum, Re­liance In­dus­tries, Bharat Petroleum opted for re­place­ments. This July, HPCL can­celled Ira­nian oil ship­ments when in­sur­ers re­fused to cover Ira­nian oil im­ports (pro­cessed or stored). Tehran has of­fered to ship oil in Ira­nian ves­sels and in­sure them. But there is no post­land­ing as­sur­ance it can pro­vide. In that sce­nario, can New Delhi step up and of­fer a sov­er­eign guar­an­tee to in­sur­ers? With the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion squeez­ing pol­icy space, this looks like a tough call. –

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