India may continue with Iranian oil imports post sanctions

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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. Iran has pledged to block any OPEC supply increase that the country deems to be against its interest.

"Of course it could find alternative supplies, from other parts of the Middle East or from the United States itself", said Leszczynski. Consequently, rising oil supply has added to the pressure observed in the oil complex this morning.

"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.

Trump announced in May that Washington was pulling out of the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which lifted nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran in exchange for restrictions on Tehran's nuclear program.

"Therefore India has really nothing to gain and a lot to lose in implementing sanction on Iran and will try all it can to resist it", he tells TradeWinds. A second round, forthcoming on November 4, will be targeting Iran's oil sales and its Central Bank. Of the 220.4 million metric tonnes (million MT) of crude oil imported by India in 2017-18, about 9.4% was from Iran.

Refiners have already announced purchases of oil from Iran for November at levels nearly similar to those in October, despite the start of the sanctions on the 4 November.

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He added: "We were trying to balance our relationship with the USA and Iran, at the same time keeping our energy and security interest in mind".

Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh on Monday called a Saudi claim that the kingdom could replace Iran's crude exports "nonsense".

"We expect the global leaders will understand our requirements", he said on the sidelines of the "The Energy Forum" in New Delhi.

He emphasized that any arrangement for the sale of oil in the region "should be inclusive" and added, "If you exclude one country [and] make sure that one country's oil sale comes to zero, as President Trump wants, that would create problems for the whole region".

But Iran, OPEC's third-largest producer, has repeatedly said that its oil exports can not be reduced to zero because of high demand levels in the market and has blamed Trump for an oil price rally caused by imposing sanctions on Tehran.

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