Oil price drops to $83 on signs of Iran’s exports

Oil dips but bounces off low on hopes for demand boost from China stimulus

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.

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. "We do not know if we will get a waiver (from USA sanctions) or not".

After a consecutive fall in the last few weeks, the USA oil inventories saw an uptick in the last reported data which also contributed towards the softening in the crude prices. She said the sanctions that would come into force on 4 November were created to bring Tehran to book and not to penalise India, which meets 83% of its crude oil requirements from outside.

"It has been quite a tough process to negotiate", said Sanjay Sudhir, a joint secretary handling worldwide cooperation in the Oil Ministry, in reference to efforts to diversify supplies and reduce Iranian imports. "We have ordered for our usual quantity of oil", he said while adding that they were discussing payment options.

State refiners Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC) and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) have contracted 1.25 million tonnes of Iranian oil for import in November.

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

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Wells, who was in New Delhi earlier this month as part of the delegation accompanying US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for the India-US "2+2" dialogue, said there was no "blanket waiver or country-specific waiver" from US sanctions on trading with or investing in Iran or buying arms from Russian Federation.

Indian refiners imported around 10 million barrels of Iranian oil in October, and its November shipments are expected to be lower. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Nigeria, and the USA do not offer these terms. "Even without sanctions also, Iran had been accepting payments in rupee", Singh said, according to PTI.

"Iranian barrels are declining fast, and Saudi Arabia's promise to balance will face a reality check in a month's time", JP Morgan said in a note.

That's down from at least 2.5 million bpd in April, before President Donald Trump in May withdrew the United States from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed sanctions.

India has been curtailing oil imports from Iran since September. But the actual volumes imported may be far less as companies like Reliance Industries have totally stopped buying oil from Iran and others too are scaling it down in hope of winning a sanction waiver from the US.

Currently, India pays its third largest oil supplier in euros using European banking channels.

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