The Trump administration is actively considering waivers on sanctions it will reimpose next month for countries that are reducing their imports of Iranian oil, a U.S. government official said on Friday.
The world's third-biggest oil consumer, India, will continue importing crude from Iran despite United States threats to punish companies working in the Islamic Republic past the November sanctions deadline, Reuters reports.
Brent crude oil prices fell more than 1 percent on Monday after Washington said it may grant waivers to sanctions against Iran's oil exports next month, and as Saudi Arabia was said to be replacing any potential shortfall from Iran.
"A source said: "It is still early to say how India will settle its trade with Iran", and said it may consider paying for the oil with the rupee currency". It hit a four-year high of $86.74 last week.
"This is one of the single biggest supportive factors for crude", said analysts at JBC Energy of the U.S.re-imposition of Iran sanctions.
Iran accounts for 10% of India's crude oil imports, making it the second largest importer of Iranian oil behind China.
"Chatter that Saudi Arabia has replaced all of Iran's lost oil" is weighing on prices, said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore.
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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.
Prince Mohammed told Bloomberg on Friday that the kingdom had met its promise to Washington to make up for Iranian oil supplies lost through US sanctions, reimposed when the United States exited a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and six powers.
Concern that the U.S.
Zanganeh accused Tehran's regional rival Saudi Arabia of bowing to USA pressure, saying such remarks had no "real impact on the market" but were part of a psychological war launched against Iran.
"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.
But Innes warned that limited spare production to deal with further supply disruptions meant "the capacity is quickly declining due to Asia's insatiable demand".