When U.S. and European nuclear-related sanctions against Iran took effect in 2011, India was compelled to reduce its crude oil imports from Iran and to diversify its sources of supply.[1] As a result, the country’s crude oil imports from Iran dropped by 1.33% and 37.81% in 2012 and 2013, respectively. The next year, following an easing of sanctions, India’s imports of Iranian oil rose sharply.[2] In 2014, India once again substantially reduced its crude oil imports from Iran in order to comply with sanctions.[3]

Since the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions in January 2016 as described in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), India’s crude oil imports from Iran have increased markedly. In fact, in March 2016, India imported an estimated 506,100 b/d of crude oil from Iran, the highest monthly total in five years. India is currently Iran’s second-largest crude oil customer, after China.[4]



[1] U.S. Energy Information Administration (E.I.A.), “Under Sanctions, Iran’s Crude Oil Exports Have Nearly Halved in Three Years,” June 24, 2015, accessed August 2, 2016, http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=21792; and U.S. Energy Information Administration (E.I.A.), “Country Analysis Brief: India,” June 14, 2016, accessed August 2, 2016, https://www.eia.gov/beta/international/analysis_includes/countries_long/India/india.pdf.

[2] Nidhi Verma, “India Oil Imports from Iran Jump Sharply in 2014,” Reuters, January 16, 2016, accessed August 2, 2016, http://www.reuters.com/article/india-iran-oil-idUSL3N0UT4BG20150116.

[3] Nidhi Verma, “India's 2015 Iran Oil Imports Fall by a Quarter – Trade,” Reuters, January 7, 2016, accessed August 2, 2016, http://in.reuters.com/article/india-iran-oil-import-idINKBN0UL0NV201601….

[4] “India Second-Largest Buyer of Iranian Crude,” The Iran Project, June 26, 2016, accessed August 2, 2016, http://theiranproject.com/blog/2016/06/26/india-second-largest-buyer-ir….