Indian companies DEFY President Trump by purchasing Iranian Oil despite United States sanctions

Relief for Iran oil consumers as US indicates waivers on the way

The news of India's continued importation of Iranian crude had a positive effect on oil prices, with Brent crude down 1.6% to $82.79 at the time of writing on Monday morning. "Having said that, it may well be that we are already in the most supportive phase coming from this change and the effect will soon begin to ease".

Iran's crude exports fell further in the first week of October, according to tanker data and an industry source, taking a major hit from US sanctions and throwing a challenge to other OPEC oil producers as they seek to cover the shortfall. China is reportedly reducing its oil imports from Iran, though it's not likely to fully comply with the us demands.

Last week, Saudi Arabia announced plans to lift crude output next month to 10.7 million barrels per day (bpd), the kingdom's highest level ever.

The world's third-largest oil importer, India relies upon Iran for 9.4% of its crude supplies: in 2017-18 the country brought in 220.4 million metric tonnes of oil from a number of sources.

DUBAI - Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh has dismissed claims by the Saudi crown prince that Saudi Arabia can replace sanctions-hit Iranian oil in the market as "nonsense".

U.S. president Donald Trump is reported to be "actively considering waivers" on sanctions on Iranian oil imports for some countries ahead of the November deadline.

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India has been curtailing oil imports from Iran since September.

The US withdrew from a deal on Iran's nuclear program in May and will individually impose sanctions on Iran's crude oil consumers on November 4.

India, a major buyer, has ordered Iranian oil for November, although New Delhi does not yet know whether it will receive such a waiver. Oil dropped to around $83 a barrel on Monday. The Indian basket represents the average of Oman, Dubai and Brent crude. Also, subsidised domestic cooking gas prices have been increased by Rs 2.89 per 14.2 kg cylinder to Rs 502.40, an all-time high.

Moody's Investors Service in a report on Monday said the government's decision was credit negative for Indian state-owned oil marketing companies IOC, BPCL and HPCL. It added that the effective reversal of fuel price deregulation would also constrain future private sector investments in the sector.

Iran has blamed Trump for oil price hikes, but the U.S. president has pointed the finger at OPEC and called on the oil-producing body to boost output.

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