India is going to continue buying Iranian oil in November despite the USA sanctions, Reuters reported citing sources close to the Indian oil industry. Of the 220.4 million metric tonnes (million MT) of crude oil imported by India in 2017-18, about 9.4 per cent, was from Iran.
As reported, Indian Oil Corp will lift six million barrels of Iranian oil while Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd ships in three million barrels.
Oil prices rose on Tuesday as more evidence emerged that crude exports from Iran, OPEC's third-largest producer, are declining in the run-up to the re-imposition of USA sanctions and as a hurricane moved across the Gulf of Mexico.
"We have to fulfill all our domestic requirements", Pradhan said, confirming the plan to buy some Iranian crude after U.S. sanctions kick in.
Additional US sanctions, on Iran's oil and banking industries, will be imposed in November.
Brent crude, the worldwide benchmark, was down $1.38 to $82.78 per barrel at 1041 GMT. Oil companies have been tight lipped about Iran imports.
Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told reporters that New Delhi was discussing the issue of a waiver "with all the authorities concerned".
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Oil also dropped as investors focused on rising output from other producers, such as top exporter Saudi Arabia, to compensate for lower Iranian supplies which have fallen further in October according to export data.
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.
Delhi is hopeful that Saudi Arabia and other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will heed U.S. calls for production to be boosted by one million barrels per day, as promised in June, which might help bring benchmark prices down.
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. The Indian basket represents the average of Oman, Dubai and Brent crude.
On the last week's excise duty and fuel price cut, the minister said these prices will not be deregulated. He added that state-run oil companies must also look at taking measures to ease the burden of consumers.
"In effect, the government has asked the OMCs to sell petrol and diesel at subsidized prices, for which they will not be reimbursed", the report said.