Sufficient oil available to offset India's lost Iranian imports: oil minister

ONGC well is pictured in an oil field on the outskirts of western city of Ahmedabad

NIDHI VERMA (Reuters) - There are adequate oil supplies in the market to compensate for lost oil imports from Iran, Indian oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in New Delhi on Tuesday.

India halted imports from Iran after the United States' May withdrawal of exemptions that allowed eight nations, including India, to import crude from Iran despite sanctions against the Middle East producer.

The minister also said the government has asked Gail (India) Ltd, India's biggest natural gas utility, to form a plan to separate its gas marketing and transmission business.

Pradhan said that India's diesel demand will continue to rise despite increasing numbers of electric vehicles.

He also said that India has formed a panel to look at a proposal to allow private companies to sell subsidised cooking gas.

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by David Goodman)

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