ABU DHABI, 4th February 2016 (WAM) — India’s petroleum ministry has sought 150 billion rupees (US$2.2 billion) from the finance ministry to build the second phase of the country’s strategic petroleum reserves, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Thursday.

Strategic storage reserves are underground rock caverns used to store crude oil that can be used in case of a supply cut-off to a country.

India’s oil imports from Iran fell more than a quarter in January from the previous month, although incoming shipments are expected to pick up in February as post-sanctions’ crude starts arriving, preliminary tanker data obtained by Reuters on Tuesday shows.