India may continue to import oil from Iran, says Petroleum Minister

India buying Iran oil in defiance of Trump sanctions

"Some of our companies have already nominated their quota for November", said the Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas to PTI. "We do not know if we will get a waiver (from USA sanctions) or not".

File image of Dharmendra Pradhan.

US sanctions targeting Iran's crude oil exports come into force from November 4, with Washington ratcheting up the pressure on governments and companies around the world to slash their Iranian oil imports to zero.

"We have to fulfil our own domestic requirements". Speaking to media, IndianOil chairman Sanjiv Singh confirmed his company was among the two which contracted Iranian supplies in November.

"We have ordered for our usual quantity of oil", he said.

As reported, Indian Oil Corp will lift six million barrels of Iranian oil while Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd ships in three million barrels.

Singh said options for paying for Iranian oil are under discussions. We believe the approaching November deadine for Iranian sanctions could provide some clarity over the global geopolitical moves and would be one point in the timeline to watch out for. Data also pointed to Iran oil reserves being run down ahead of sanctions which is likely to underpin prices in the weeks ahead. "This time Europe is not working with the USA, so we intend to evolve a mechanism".

With Iran sanctions still on the table, potential spare capacity constraints and also a slowdown in USA drilling, US 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". It had planned to import 9 MT of Iranian oil in 2018-19 financial year or 0.75 MT a month. Iranian oil exports are declining fast, and the Saudi's have to find a way to increase production quickly.

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.

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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.

A second round of sanctions targeting Iran's oil sector is due to go into effect on November 5.

UCO Bank and IDBI Bank have been identified to route the payment as the two have no exposure to the USA financial system.

UCO Bank had in the previous round of sanctions handled rupee payments.

India had diversified its oil supplies to cushion the impact of sanctions, he said. These channels would get blocked from November.

Last week, India reduced gasoline and diesel prices to give relief to consumers against rising global crude prices caused by uncertainty over USA sanctions on Iran and OPEC's decision to raise output.

Pradhan said a new world order was being established and added, "Is this not a recognition of India's leadership?"

Washington said on Friday it was considering waivers for nations that were reducing imports of Iranian oil. "Iran's oil can not be replaced by Saudi Arabia nor any other country", Zanganeh was quoted as saying on his ministry's website.

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