Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

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

India buying Iran oil in defiance of Trump sanctions ICJ orders US to ease Iran sanctions; India to continue purchasing crude oil from Iran
Priscilla Morrison | 09 October, 2018, 18:33

The inaction by OPEC and Russian Federation at the end of September-and the growing evidence from tanker tracking data that Iran's oil exports have started to fall quicker than most market participants had been expecting-has emboldened bulls, and some analysts started to predict that the possibility of $100 oil as soon as year's end is not to be ruled out. "We don't know if the waiver has happened or not, but the Indian companies have gone ahead and booked the order".

File image of Dharmendra Pradhan.

"Two days ago, two of our companies have placed orders with Iran for oil for the month of November", Mr. Pradhan said at the inaugural conference of the Energy Forum. Pradhan said India has its own energy requirements which need to be fulfilled.

Meanwhile, the International Court of Justice ordered the USA on Wednesday to ease some sanctions against Iran, including those related to the supply of humanitarian trade, food, medicine and the safety of civil aviation.

Singh said options for paying for Iranian oil are under discussions. Iran can use the rupee to settle its imports of pharmaceuticals and other goods from India.

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. "So let us see how it evolves".

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.

Iran has warned that if it can not sell its oil due to USA pressure, then no other regional country will be allowed to do so either, threatening to block the Strait of Hormuz. India would lift 9 million barrels of Iranian oil in November, equivalent to about 300,0000 barrels per day (bpd), compared to an average of about 658,000 bpd from April to August, according to data available with Reuters.

More news: Palestinians say Israeli troops kill three, including a child, at Gaza protest

Nayara Energy, formerly Essar Oil, too is stopping import from the Persian Gulf nation.

With the deadline for the imposition of the sanctions on Iran nearing and rising uncertainty around the potential impact of noncompliance, oil imports from Iran to major consumers (including India) dipped in the last few weeks. Some of these sources say output fell further in September.

"What the Saudis had been supplying the market with, were not from Riyadh's spare capacity but from tapping its oil stocks", Zanganeh said, according to the website.

USA 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. It began clearing the dues in 2015 when the restrictions were eased.

"Despite the mischief of the Americans, Iran's oil exports have surpassed state budget outlay projections", Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri said last week. Iranian oil exports are declining fast, and the Saudi's have to find a way to increase production quickly. It was India's second biggest supplier of crude oil after Saudi Arabia till 2010-11 but Western sanctions over its suspected nuclear programme relegated it to the seventh spot in the subsequent years. In 2013-14 and 2014-15, India bought 11 MT and 10.95 MT respectively from it.

While oil prices rallied to four-year highs last week, Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation started to assure the market that they have indeed raised their respective oil production in recent weeks, in line with the OPEC+ agreement from June.

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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