* HPCL to take 84,000 bpd from Saudis in July; MRPL to buy
* India to buy more from Saudi Arabia to offset drop in
* Two South Korean refiners to take in full contract volumes
(Adds South Korea taking in full volumes, HPCL's reasons for
By Nidhi Verma
NEW DELHI, June 10 (Reuters) - Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia
is selling more crude to India in July as two refiners have
asked for additional cargoes, industry and company sources
familiar with the plan said, in part to make up for a loss of
supplies from Iran.
Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Mangalore Refinery
and Petrochemicals Ltd stopped buying Iranian crude
from April because local insurers said they cannot cover
refineries that process oil from Iran as global reinsurers,
mostly based in the West, may not honour claims.
U.S. and European sanctions aimed at pressuring Tehran over
its suspected pursuit of nuclear weapons have already more than
halved Iran's shipments, costing it billions of dollars in
revenue since the start of 2012. Washington is now seeking to
cut shipments further through tighter sanctions.
India's purchases from Iran could average about 190,000
barrels per day (bpd) spread over April and May, based on
industry and preliminary tanker arrival data. That is about a
quarter less than the 250,600 bpd imported on average in the
first three months of the year.
The company and industry sources did not want to be named
due to the sensitivity of the matter.
For July, HPCL will take 84,000 bpd from Saudi Arabia, more
than double the 40,000 bpd it normally buys under annual
contracts, the sources said.
MRPL will take in 86,000 bpd in July versus its commitment
to lift 55,000 bpd, a company source said.
HPCL's imports from Saudi Arabia will also rise in July as
the company did not buy full volumes it is committed to take
from the kingdom for June because a crude processing unit at its
Vizag refinery was shut following a fire. The unit may restart
by the end of this month.
Other Indian buyers of crude from Saudi Arabia - which
include Indian Oil Corp and Reliance Industries
- will lift the same volumes committed under annual
contracts, sources said. India's total imports from Saudi Arabia
average a little over 700,000 bpd.
Two refineries in South Korea will also take in full
contracted volumes, two separate sources said.
(Additional reporting by Meeyoung Cho in Seoul; Writing by
Manash Goswami; Editing by Tom Hogue)