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 USA government official said on Friday. Quoting the Iranian-language source, Reuters reported condensate exports over the period totaled 4.644 million tons, compared with 8.629 million tons a year earlier.
The announcement, the first indication Washington was considering such waivers, followed a Reuters report that India planned to lift some Iranian oil in November although it has been cutting back on Iranian imports recent months.
The U.S.is imposing the sanctions because Iran has reneged on a 2015 nuclear deal-a point on which other major powers disagree-and because it wants Iranian forces to pull out of Syria and Iraq.
India is the world's third-largest oil importer, and Iran's second-biggest oil customer after China.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last month that the White House would only consider waivers for Iran's oil buyers if they vowed to eventually bring their imports to zero. He said that nine million barrels of oil are expected to be purchased.
Pradhan reportedly said Monday that India does not know if it would get a waiver from the U.S.
Opec accounts for around 40% of the global production.
Worldwide benchmark Brent crude oil futures were at US$83.53 (RM364.40) per barrel at 0028 GMT, down 63 cents, or 0.75%, from their last close.
Iran's Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh dismisses the rhetoric by the Saudi crown prince about Riyadh's capability to replace sanctions-hit Iranian oil, saying that the global market will never believe such claims. Also, subsidised domestic cooking gas prices have been increased by Rs 2.89 per 14.2 kg cylinder to Rs 502.40, an all-time high.
Moody's Investors Service in a report on Monday said the government's decision was credit negative for Indian state-owned oil marketing companies IOC, BPCL and HPCL.
In the run-up to 2019 general elections, Fitch Ratings recently raised the spectre of return of state control on fuel pricing in India.
He argues that it would put in jeopardy projects such as Chabahar Port in south-eastern Iran which India sees as both an entry channel for Afghanistan and counter-balance to the nearby Chinese-built Gwadar port just across the border in south-western Pakistan.
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