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India resolves Iran oil payment problems


An Indian petrol pump employee fills the tank of a motorbike at a petrol station in Amritsar on July 7, 2011. India imports about 80 percent of its crude oil and has been frantically seeking new fuel sources as its economy grows.



India averted a drastic blockage of Iranian oil imports by resolving to pay its outstanding debt in two lump sums, the first of which will be made over the next few days, the BBC reports.

Iran, which accounts for about 12% of India's oil supplies, had threatened to cut off supplies to India if payments were not made by August 1.

"Following bilateral negotiations, the two sides agreed to settle the outstanding bills as soon as possible," Ahmed Qalebani head of the NIOC was quoted as saying by the Iranian Oil Ministry website Shana, according to the BBC.

India has been struggling to find a way to make its oil payments for months, due to U.S. sanctions on Iran that have made it difficult for India to find an international bank that will perform the currency conversion necesssary to pay its oil debt.

The most recent news item didn't specify how the payments would be made.