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India wants US sanctions waiver after cutting Iran oil imports

India wants US sanctions waiver after cutting Iran oil imports

A USA government official said on Friday that the Trump administration is actively considering waivers on sanctions it will re-impose next month for countries that are reducing their imports of Iranian oil.

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.

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

"One way or another, it looks as though India is going to take some Iranian crude", said Olivier Jakob of Petromatrix, adding that the development was helping oil to "retrace some of the price surge we saw last week".

In the previous round of sanctions from 2012 to 2015, India continued to buy Iranian crude although it had to cut purchases significantly to protect its wider exposure to the USA financial system.

Washington is pushing allies to cut imports of Iranian oil to zero and will impose a new round of sanctions on Iranian oil sales in November.

S&P Global Platts estimated Iran's crude and condensate exports will drop to 1.1 million bpd this month, with the us sanctions removing as much as 1.7 million bpd from markets from November on.




Speaking at an event here, Pradhan said two of India's state-owned companies had contracted for Iranian crude for November. He said any countries or companies that conduct transactions with Tehran were liable to face secondary sanctions. Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore, said there was also "chatter that Saudi Arabia has replaced all of Iran's lost oil".

Brent crude prices are now hovering around US$86 a barrel and global traders are betting that they will go past US$100.

Iran's Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh dismisses the rhetoric by the Saudi crown prince about Riyadh's capability to replace sanctions-hit Iranian oil, saying that the global market will never believe such claims. Oil dropped to around $83 a barrel on Monday.

The cost of the Indian basket of crude rose to $84.14 a barrel on 5 October, according to the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell. The Indian basket represents the average of Oman, Dubai and Brent crude.

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 effect, the government has asked the OMCs to sell petrol and diesel at subsidized prices, for which they will not be reimbursed", the report said.

Iran's condensate exports fell by 46 percent over the first six months of the Iranian year, from March to September, local news agency Isna reported, citing customs data.