India to continue buying Iranian crude despite United States sanctions threat

India to continue buying Iranian crude despite United States sanctions threat

India to continue buying Iranian crude despite United States sanctions threat

Oil prices fell on Monday after a United States government official said Washington was considering granting waivers to its sanctions against Iran's crude exports next month, and as Saudi Arabia was said to be replacing any potential shortfall from Iran.

Iran's crude exports fell further in the first week of October, according to tanker data and an industry source, taking a major hit from USA sanctions and throwing a challenge to other OPEC oil producers as they seek to cover the shortfall.

At the beginning of October, for instance, Bloomberg reported that Iran's oil and condensate exports had fallen to a two-and-a-half-year low at 1.72 million bpd, but noting these were tracked exports.

With Iran sanctions still on the table, potential spare capacity constraints and also a slowdown in US drilling, USA bank J.P.Morgan said in its latest cross-asset outlook for clients that it recommended to "stay long Jan '19 WTI on supply risks to crude".

Oil traders initially reacted to a selloff in Chinese stocks, but as the USA stock market opened higher, "we've pulled back dramatically", said Mark Anderle, an energy trader at TAC Energy.

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India is Iran's second-largest single oil customer after China and was expected to cut back on Iranian oil purchases following U.S. sanctions.

He said Indian refiners had started importing oil from the United States but purchases were constrained by US infrastructure.

Brent crude oil prices fell more than 1 percent on Monday after Washington said it may grant waivers to sanctions against Iran's oil exports next month, and as Saudi Arabia was said to be replacing any potential shortfall from Iran.

Pradhan reportedly said Monday that India does not know if it would get a waiver from the U.S. According to CNBC, Pradhan said India may use rupees rather than dollars to buy the oil, in an attempt to skirt the sanctions. He said any countries or companies that conduct transactions with Tehran were liable to face secondary sanctions.

Opec accounts for around 40% of the global production.

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DUBAI - Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh has dismissed claims by the Saudi crown prince that Saudi Arabia can replace sanctions-hit Iranian oil in the market as "nonsense". Oil dropped to around $83 a barrel on Monday.

The government last week effected a Rs 2.50 per litre cut in prices of petrol and diesel to ease inflationary pressure and boost consumer confidence.

In the run-up to 2019 general elections, Fitch Ratings recently raised the spectre of return of state control on fuel pricing in India.

India has been curtailing oil imports from Iran since September.

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