US could issue waivers for Iran crude; oil prices dip Monday

India buying Iran oil in defiance of Trump sanctions

India had thus far not publicly articulated its stand on the issue, but with the advance orders placed for November, has made it clear that India will not "zero out" its oil intake from Iran.

"We export as much as two barrels for any barrel that disappeared from Iran recently", Prince Mohammed told Bloomberg.

India, however, wants to keep importing oil from Iran, because Tehran offers discounts and incentives for them at a time when the Indian government is struggling with higher oil prices and a weakening local currency.

"Iran has been off-and-on taking rupee payments for oil it sells".

India, the world's third-biggest oil importer, will buy 9 million barrels of Iranian oil in November, Reuters reported on Friday, citing two industry sources.

Two domestic companies have placed orders to buy Iranian oil in November, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday, adding that the government does not yet know if it will be granted a waiver from United States sanctions on Iran.

Last applied from 2012 to 2015, the sanctions are in retaliation for Iran's supposed nuclear proliferation program.

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U.S. sanctions against Iran will kick in from 4 November, which will block payment routes. Since the start of September, prices had spiked by over 10 per cent reaching a four-year high despite the fact that at the Algiers meeting last month OPEC had declared that the market was comfortably supplied.

In May, before US President Donald Trump announced reinstating sanctions against Tehran, the International Monetary Fund had projected Iran's economy would grow by 4.0 percent in 2018 and again next year. "We continue to discuss our Iran policy with our counterparts around the world and the implications of our re-imposition of sanctions previously lifted or waived under the JCPOA". "So let us see how it evolves".

"These officials are planning to announce that it's OK to give banks waivers because re-imposed sanctions on businesses are sufficient", the source explained.

India, Iran's top client after China, has close diplomatic ties with Iran, where it is building a strategic port called Chabahar that is expected to be operational by 2019.

"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.

Saudi Arabia had previously claimed it had successfully replaced Iranian crude oil supplies lost through U.S. sanctions.

Besides blocking of banking channels from November, the absence of payment mechanism may pose a challenge to the transportation of the oil as Iranian crude is bought on a CIF basis and shipped on Iranian tankers.

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