India’s oil imports from KSA rise by 32% after Iran curbs

India is now importing the bulk of its oil requirements from India. (SPA file photo)
Updated 28 June 2019
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India’s oil imports from KSA rise by 32% after Iran curbs

  • Saudi Arabia has become the second-largest crude supplier to India
  • KSA has become the second-largest crude supplier to India

NEW DELHI: India’s oil imports from Saudi Arabia have jumped by 32 percent after US sanctions against Iran came into effect, making Riyadh the second-largest crude supplier to the South Asian republic.

According to data released by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S), a Kolkata-based organization associated with the Indian Ministry of Commerce, the dwindling supply of crude oil from Iran has seen an increase in imports from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the US and Nigeria.

Imports from Saudi Arabia reached 3.55 million tons (MT) in May this year compared to 2.68 last year, the report said. At the same time, crude supply from Iran went down to 0.56 MT from 3.13MT. Iran was the third-largest importer of oil to India.

“Imports from other Middle Eastern countries have increased by 30-40 percent after we replaced crude from Iran. Middle Eastern countries present logistic advantage, that’s why their choice was logical,” said R. Ramachandran, director (refineries) of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), a leading oil company owned by the Indian government.

“I cannot tell you the exact percentage but we have replaced Iranian crude with Saudi (crude) and some other countries,” Ramachandran told Arab News.

New Delhi was compelled to cut off imports from Iran after the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Iranian oil exports.

India was one of eight countries given a waiver from the US to import oil from Iran, but the waiver expired on May 2.

The issue of the ban on Iranian imports has been one of the sour points in the relationship between India and the US.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tried to address the issue by assuring New Delhi of adequate oil supply from the US during his visit to India on Wednesday.

“We’re doing everything we can to ensure that you have adequate crude imports. We appreciate your help in pushing these regimes to behave like normal countries,” Pompeo said in a speech in New Delhi on Wednesday evening.

“You’ve made hard choices to cut off oil imports from Iran, and move away from purchasing Venezuelan oil. We know these decisions weren’t without cost,” he said.

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar told reporters after the interaction with his US counterpart: “I underlined the importance of stability, predictability and affordability in terms of India’s energy imports.”

He also said that the US is “very receptive” to India’s concerns about its global energy supplies.

BPCL chief Ramachandran said: “We have more opportunities available to import oil from the US, which is working out to be more economical than we expected.”

News reports quoting a spokesperson from the Indian petroleum ministry said that New Delhi had stopped importing oil from Iran.

Madhu Nainan, an editor of Petrowatch, a leading news portal on the Indian oil industry, said: “India has found alternative sources of crude supply, most importantly the USA and some of the Middle Eastern countries — a prominent one being Saudi Arabia.”

“Saudi Arabia being in a neighboring region means it is able to supplant oil from Iran. Besides, the growing bonhomie between the two nations also adds value to the relationship,” Nainan told Arab News.


Funds managing $2 trillion urge cement makers to act on climate impact

A general view of Gulf Cement Company in Ghalilah, Ras al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates July 16, 2019. (REUTERS)
Updated 6 min 58 sec ago
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Funds managing $2 trillion urge cement makers to act on climate impact

  • The cement industry produces 7 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, according to the International Energy Agency, meaning that if it were a country, it would be the third largest emitter, behind the US and China

LONDON: European funds managing $2 trillion in assets called on cement companies to slash their greenhouse gas emissions on Monday, warning that a failure to do so could put their business models at risk.
Some asset managers are ramping up engagement with heavy polluters to demand a faster transition to a cleaner economy.
“The cement sector needs to dramatically reduce the contribution it makes to climate change,” said Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, which has more than 170 members, mainly European pension funds and asset managers. “This is ultimately a business-critical issue for the sector,” Pfeifer said in a statement.
The group said investors had written to cement or construction materials companies including Ireland’s CRH, Franco-Swiss group LafargeHolcim and France’s St. Gobain to demand they achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
They also noted that Germany’s HeidelbergCement had already adopted the target. The funds urged all cement companies to align themselves with the 2015 Paris agreement to combat global warming, engage with policymakers to ensure an orderly transition to a low carbon economy, and increase their reporting of climate risk.
“Construction materials companies may ultimately risk divestment and lack of access to capital as an increasing number of investors seek to exclude highly carbon-intensive sectors from their portfolios,” said Vincent Kaufmann, CEO of the Ethos Foundation.

FASTFACT

The cement industry produces 7 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, according to the International Energy Agency.

Signatories collectively manage assets worth $2 trillion and include Aberdeen Standard Investments, BNP Paribas Asset Management, Sarasin & Partners and Hermes EOS.
Although funds are increasingly engaging with companies from airlines to carmakers on emissions, few are calling for the systemic transformation of the global economic system that scientists increasingly argue is needed to prevent runaway climate breakdown.
The cement industry produces 7 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, according to the International Energy Agency, meaning that if it were a country, it would be the third largest emitter, behind the US and China.
With climate campaigners traditionally focused on fossil fuel companies, the European cement sector has received comparatively little scrutiny until recently.
On Tuesday, police arrested six climate activists from civil disobedience group Extinction Rebellion at a protest aimed at disrupting a site in east London belonging to London Concrete, a unit of LafargeHolcim.
In June last year, a report from think-tank Chatham House concluded that although there was no “silver bullet” to reduce emissions from cement, it should be possible to deploy a range of policies and technologies to achieve deep decarbonization.