New Delhi: Indian refiner Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd does not plan to cut the volume of oil imports from Iran although it is facing shortfall in crude shipment because of the economic sanctions imposed on the Persian Gulf nation.
"Till June this fiscal there was no problem, in July we have a problem and only got one parcel... We have lined up spot cargoes and (are) managing with the inventories... Iranian cargoes are lucrative as compared to the other cargoes," Upadhya said.
"We are now increasing our spot cargo purchases to make up for the shortfall in Iranian imports," he added.
MRPL, a part of state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC), bought just one consignment of 90,000 tonnes of crude oil for its refining operations in July, as compared to a monthly average of four cargoes of 90,000 tonnes each.
The refinery cut its long term contract with Iran significantly from 7.3 million tonne (MT) in fiscal 2011-12 to 5 MT this fiscal 2012-13. In the current fiscal till date, it has imported 1.2 MT of the 5 mt contracted for.
The US and European union have imposed economic sanctions on Iran for allegedly pursuing a nuclear program for military purposes, impacting Iran's trade with several countries including India.
However, India, which meets almost 80% of its energy requirement through imports, has allowed state-run oil refiners to buy Iranian crude on the CIF (cost, insurance and freight basis) that puts the responsibility of shipping the crude on the Iranian supplier.
Mangalore Refinery Friday posted a net loss of Rs 15.21 billion in the first quarter (Apr-Jun) of this fiscal 2012-13 against a net profit of Rs 1.72 billion a year ago, hurt by foreign exchange losses and fall in throughput due to refinery shutdown for about 10 day amid water crisis in summer.