India's state-owned oil and gas companies have decided to discontinue booking Chinese tankers to ship their crude and petroleum products in the wake of strained relations between the two countries.
Government-run oil companies have prohibited hiring tankers owned or operated by Chinese companies, even if the ship is registered in a third country.
The (China-owned) vessels are banned from submitting bids on tenders for chartering tankers for both import (of crude oil) or export of products (such as diesel), Bloomberg reported citing unidentified sources.
However, the move is unlikely to have any significant impact on trade flows. The ban follows India's regulatory implementations it effected last month on business with nations sharing its borders, referring indirectly to China and Pakistan without naming them, the sources added.
State-run oil marketing companies are also mulling asking oil traders and suppliers not to send consignments to India using Chinese tankers.
The decision is going to further stress relations between two of Asia's largest economies following a violent border clash in Eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley in June this year.
Most of the foreign vessels used by Indian oil companies are flagged in Liberia, Mauritius, and Panama, two Indian oil executives told the news agency, adding that Chinese tankers are used mainly in the transport of liquefied petroleum gas.
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