India expected to keep buying Iranian oil despite sanctions by US

09 October, 2018, 18:35 | Author: Regina Silva
  • India expected to keep buying Iranian oil despite sanctions by US

"We have to fulfill all our domestic requirements", Pradhan said, confirming the plan to buy some Iranian crude after USA sanctions kick in.

India is Iran's second-largest single oil customer after China and was expected to cut back on Iranian oil purchases following United States sanctions.

In its World Economic Outlook released late on October 8, the International Monetary Fund said Iran's oil-driven economy is expected to shrink by 1.5 percent this year as a result of declining oil exports, with the drop in economic output accelerating to 3.6 percent in 2019.

Top US officials are said to remain divided over whether they should save Iran's access to worldwide financial markets ahead of November U-S sanctions. 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.

"We have to fulfil our own domestic requirements".

In May, Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal despite objection from the other signatories, the UK, Russia, Germany, China, and France, re-imposing sanctions lifted under the deal.

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.

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The market will continue to react to "supply-driven risks", according to Darling, who also pointed to two of the key uncertainties on the supply side-the world's actual spare capacity and Saudi Arabia's actual ability to "really turn up the taps" this winter. "So let us see how it evolves", he said.

"This is one of the single biggest supportive factors for crude", said analysts at JBC Energy of the of Iran sanctions.

Currently, India pays its third largest oil supplier in euros using European banking channels. It began clearing the dues in 2015 when the restrictions were eased.

Besides, New Delhi sought to get around the restrictions by supplying goods including wheat, soybean meal and consumer products to Iran in exchange for oil.

India has been curtailing oil imports from Iran since September. "Iran's oil can not be replaced by Saudi Arabia nor any other country", Zanganeh was quoted as saying on his ministry's website. In 2013-14 and 2014-15, India bought 11 MT and 10.95 MT respectively from it.

Pradhan said that while speaking to Saudi Arabia's energy minister Khalid A. Al-Falih two days ago he had reminded him of Opec's June decision and added that perhaps the increase in oil productions had not taken place.

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