Despite US sanctions, India will buy oil from Iran in November

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

File image of Dharmendra Pradhan.

US 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. Pradhan said India has its own energy requirements which need to be fulfilled.

We are interested in your opinion and trading strategies for oil. Speaking to media, IndianOil chairman Sanjiv Singh confirmed his company was among the two which contracted Iranian supplies in November.

"We will continue to intervene", he said.

Indian refiners imported around 10 million barrels of Iranian crude in October, although its November shipments are likely to be lower.

Singh said options for paying for Iranian oil are under discussions. USA sanctions will block payment routes. Persistent internal issues within major oil exporting countries could keep prices high in the coming weeks. "State's been pushing very hard on this, they deserve a lot of credit for their efforts, so let's see what they come up with before criticizing".

"India is continuing with its relationship with both its key energy partners Iran and the US", a second source said.

"Previously there was no European channel", the second source said.

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India had planned to import about 25 MT of crude oil from Iran in 2018-19, up from 22.6 MT imported in 2017-18.

On Monday, crude oil prices fell early in the session in response to a report that Saudi Arabia stands ready to replace all of the oil lost because of the sanctions.

In May, before U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he was reinstating sanctions against Tehran, the International Monetary Fund had projected Iran's economy would grow by 4 percent in 2018 and 2019.

USA sanctions against Tehran are widely expected to have an immediate impact on Iran's oil exports, although the estimates of exactly how much of the country's oil could disappear from November 4 vary widely.

UCO Bank and IDBI Bank have been identified to route the payment as the two have no exposure to the United States financial system. These channels would get blocked from November.

This is the first public statement made by the Government on its stand on sourcing Iranian oil once the United States sanction on Iran pertaining to the oil industry comes into force.

Washington said on Friday it was considering waivers for nations that were reducing imports of Iranian oil.

Pradhan also added the country was considering evolving a different payment system to buy Iran's oil and that it could pay using Indian rupees. Saudi Arabia's production boost and the willingness to replace the Iranian barrels, easing the supply side pressure also led to the price fall.

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