India made its first crude oil payment to Iran since February when a $100m wire-transfer by Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals (MRP) was received by Tehran via Turkey.

MRP deposited the equivalent of $100m in late-July in a rupee account at the New Delhi branch of Union Bank of India. This was then transferred in Euros to Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank in Istanbul. Halkbank has since transferred the money to the account of the National Iranian Oil Company, Islamic Republic News Agency reports.

India’s second largest importer, Essar Oil buys 1.1 million barrels a day and has said it will transfer $50m on 4 August, and another $50m will follow from state-owned Indian Oil and Hindustan Petroleum.

Indian refiners had previously paid Iran through German-based Iranian bank, EIH Bank, but this has been blocked by US and EU sanctions. The successful payment will allow more Indian refiners to pay their oil debts (MEED 21:7:11).