MUMBAI: India’s imports of Iran oil in December scheduled to rise to most since March: Source that India’s scheduled crude oil loadings from Iran, excluding condensate, an ultra-light oil, were about 550,000 bpd last month, up 78 percent from the previous month and the highest since March, according to the source. That more than offset monthly declines in liftings by three other major Asian buyers, China, South Korea and Japan. Taiwan also loaded Iranian oil last month. Iran produces 3.8 million bpd of crude and is the third-largest producer of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). December also marked Petronas’ scheduled first purchase of Iranian crude since the Malaysian state oil firm halted Iranian oil imports in 2012 after Western sanctions targeting Tehran’s nuclear programme made it difficult to pay and ship the oil, according to the person. Petronas bought Iranian Heavy crude in a spot deal, two other sources familiar with the matter said. The tanker Patmos Warrior is discharging close to 300,000 barrels of crude at the Malaysian port of Malacca after loading in Iran, trade flow data on Thomson Reuters Eikon showed. Petronas did not respond to a request for comment. The deal came after Iran offered spot cargoes and reduced official selling prices for December loading to entice buyers. Iran has roughly more than doubled oil exports from a trough in 2015 after the end of sanctions in January 2016 following an agreement between the United States, Iran and several European nations.