India to continue buying Iranian crude despite U.S. sanctions threat

Oil Barrels

Prince Mohammed told Bloomberg on Friday that the kingdom had met its promise to Washington to make up for Iranian oil supplies lost through USA sanctions, reimposed when the United States exited a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and six powers.

At 0510 GMT, November WTI crude oil is trading $73.80, down $0.54 or -0.73% and December Brent crude oil is at $83.36, down $0.80 or -0.95%. The Trump administration is considering waivers on sanctions, a USA government official said on Friday.

"I don't think anyone believed it was technically possible to go to zero in six months if we wanted to replace Iranian oil barrel for barrel from other suppliers, ensuring the price of oil doesn't spike and ensuring that the brunt of our sanctions pressure falls on Iran rather than our allies", said Richard Goldberg, a former senior Senate staffer who helped write the original Iran sanctions legislation. This would signal an attempt to bypass USA sanctions on Iranian transactions using the dollar - the dominant currency in global oil trade. Washington said on Friday it was considering waivers for nations that were reducing imports of Iranian oil.

Two companies in India, which in the past have been big buyers or Iranian oil, have ordered barrels in November, according to India's oil minister.

USA sanctions will target Iran's crude oil exports from November 4, and Washington has been putting pressure on governments and companies worldwide to cut their imports to zero.

Pradhan also added the country was considering evolving a different payment system to buy Iran's oil and that it could pay using Indian rupees.

Some analysts predict as much as 1.5 million barrels per day could be removed from the market, an event that could cause prices to rise further.

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New Delhi and Tehran have reportedly discussed reverting to rupee trade after November 4.

"Any country that makes such claims. just wants to display its support for the United States sanctions against Iran", Zanganeh was quoted as saying.

In May, US President Donald Trump announced America's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.

The softer stance on Iran plus news that Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation could ramp up oil production to compensate for the sanctions has lowered oil prices slightly. "This time Europe is not working with the USA, so we intend to evolve a mechanism".

"But on the other side of it you have very unpredictable circumstances in Venezuela and of course, with the Iran sanctions", Dudley noted, commenting on the current market forces driving the oil prices.

Has the simmering crude oil market peaked, even if for the time being?

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