India to keep buying Iranian oil despite US sanctions

India to keep buying Iranian oil despite US sanctions

White House officials had said over the summer they would push to bring Iranian crude exports "down to zero" and would be unlikely to grant any waiver exemptions, including to allies such as India and South Korea, two of Iran's largest oil customers.

The Trump administration withdrew from a deal over Tehran's nuclear programme in May and is unilaterally reimposing sanctions on Iran's crude oil consumers on November 4.

Saudi Arabia's crown prince in an interview with Bloomberg News is insisting that the kingdom is fulfilling promises to the United States to make up a shortfall in world oil supplies resulting from the loss of Iranian production under USA sanctions.

Brent fell a mere 20 cents to $84.38, while WTI rose 1 cent to $74.34, these numbers said to be the outcome of the US unemployment rate falling to a 49 year low of 3.7 percent and somewhat mitigating fears about the sanctions.

Oil traders say they are concerned that the kingdom isn't ramping up output quickly enough, and that it may not have enough capacity to fully cover Iran's losses.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for November delivery on Friday rose to US$74.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In a sign that Iran oil exports won't fall to nothing from November, India will buy 9 million barrels of Iranian crude next month, Reuters reported on Friday.

Iranian crude oil and condensate exports slumped to just under 1.7 million b/d in September, a fall of nearly 700,000 b/d from May, according to Platts estimates.

In May, Trump pulled the USA out of the Iran nuclear deal despite objection from the other signatories, the UK, Russia, Germany, China, and France, re-imposing sanctions lifted under the deal.

Overall US exports also fell 917,000 bpd to 1.7 million bpd in the last week of September, according to the Energy Information Administration, as a stronger US dollar and Brent's premium to WTI fell, making US crude less affordable.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported the details of a private and "secret" deal reached between Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, a deal that was aimed at increasing oil output in order to offset the coming shock to oil prices that will follow us efforts to starve Iran of its oil revenues.

She also said that the ICJ's decision on Iran-U.S. dispute is binding for Washington and must be obeyed.

Indian Oil Corp will lift 6 million barrels of Iranian oil and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals another 3 million barrels, the source said.

India had planned to import about 25 million tons of crude oil from Iran in the current fiscal, up from 22.6 million tons imported in 2017-18.

Fundamentals indicate a price in the high $70s for Brent, but the reality is seen above that, he said.