By Nidhi Verma
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's Iran oil imports rose about 39 percent in June year on year, preliminary data obtained by Reuters shows.
In the first half of 2016 India's Iran oil imports surged by about 58 percent to about 342,000 bpd, the data showed, in comparison with 216,500 bpd in the same period last year.
HPCL-Mittal Energy, majority owned by state refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp, halted oil imports from Iran in November 2012 under pressure from Western sanctions over Iran's nuclear ambitions.
HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd (HMEL), partly owned by steel tycoon Lakshmi N. Mittal, took a cargo from Tehran after a three-and-a-half year break.
Last month HMEL took a million barrels of Iranian oil, according to preliminary tanker arrival data from trade sources and ship-tracking services on the Thomson Reuters terminal.
Indian refiners took in about 381,500 barrels per day (bpd)of Iranian oil in June, the data showed.
The June shipments were about 0.6 percent higher from Iranian volumes in May, the data showed. In June last year India shipped in about 274,800 bpd oil from Iran.
India's oil imports from Iran are set to surge to a seven-year high in the year that began April 1, with the nation's state-owned and private refiners together buying at least 400,000 bpd.
In April-June, the first quarter of the current fiscal year, India's Iran oil purchases rose 25.6 percent to 384,500 bpd from about 306,000 bpd in the same year ago period, the data showed.
Private refiner, Essar Oil, was the top Indian client of Iran in June, importing about 180,600 bpd, followed by Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd with about 69,000 bpd, and Reliance Industries Ltd with about 64,000 bpd.
Indian Oil Corp, the country's biggest refiner, imported about 32,000 bpd, the shipping and terminal data showed.
(Editing by William Hardy)