Monday, 10 December, 2018

India wants US sanctions waiver after cutting Iran oil imports

US considers sanction waivers on countries reducing imports of Iranian oil India buying Iran oil in defiance of Trump sanctions
Orlando Vargas | 08 October, 2018, 19:09

Oil prices have extended a rally on expectations the sanctions will test the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers. Quoting the Iranian-language source, Reuters reported condensate exports over the period totaled 4.644 million tons, compared with 8.629 million tons a year earlier. The industry has been worrying that an entirely effective ban on Iranian oil exports would strain supplies. Buyers of the superlight crude are under more pressure than importers of "regular" crude since there are few alternate suppliers. "Iran's oil can not be replaced by Saudi Arabia".

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.

India, a major buyer, has ordered Iranian oil for November, although New Delhi does not yet know whether it will receive such a waiver. TankerTrackers.com reported in September that Iranian tankers were switching off their tracking devices after leaving their home ports, and later said that probably half of September's exports were shipped with the trackers off.

The Trump administration is considering waivers on sanctions, a US government official said on Friday.

While Washington has said it wants to cut Iran's oil exports to zero, Iran and Saudi Arabia say that is unlikely. Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore, said there was also "chatter that Saudi Arabia has replaced all of Iran's lost oil".

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On Monday, Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said a claim by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that the Kingdom could replace Iran's crude exports was "nonsense".

Washington's sanctions, targeting Iran's crude oil exports, are to come into force from November 4.

India had diversified its oil supplies to cushion the impact of sanctions, he said.

Traders said ongoing concerns that the U.S. -Chinese trade war could slow down economic growth and hit oil demand also weighed on the market, traders in Asia said. 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.

Increasing tensions between the United States and Venezuela; the USA demanding an end to all imports of Iranian oil by early November; and the rupee's performance as Asia's worst performing currency of the year have compounded the situation and put India in a hard spot.

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