India to Continue Iranian Oil Imports after US Sanctions

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Iran's oil output reached a peak of about 4 million barrels a day after global sanctions were lifted in 2016 in exchange for curbs on its nuclear activities under the nuclear deal. The sanctions aim to force Tehran to stop its involvement in conflicts in Syria and Iraq and halt its ballistic missile program. Indian Oil and Mangalore Refinery did not immediately respond to a request for comment. As Iran's customers are cutting purchases and Venezuela's industry continues to struggle, trading giant Mercuria Energy Group Ltd. said last month Brent may spike over $100 in the fourth quarter and Trafigura Group expects it in early 2019.

The Indian government "has conveyed to the Trump administration that India is a fit case for a presidential waiver from the provisions of Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CATSA) on Russian Federation and the sanctions on trade with Iran", the Hindustan Times reported on Friday. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Sources said International Olympic Committee is importing the "usual" monthly volumes of oil from Iran.

Indian refiners imported around 10 million barrels of Iranian oil in October, and its November shipments are expected to be lower.

On Nov. 4, sanctions will go into effect that will prohibit countries from buying Iranian crude oil.

Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj had said in May that India only abides by sanctions imposed by the United Nations and not by any country.

With the European Union considering the creation of a "special goal vehicle" before November to facilitate trade with Iran, India hopes to find a way to settle payments to Tehran.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said Thursday his country is facing a "sensitive time" and economic problems because of the pressure from U.S. sanctions. "This time Europe is not working with the USA, so we intend to evolve a mechanism".

India had planned to import about 25 million tons of crude oil from Iran in the current fiscal, up from 22.6 million tons imported in 2017-18.

Sri Lanka, a country closely watched by the United States is expected to raise oil prices again by Wednesday midnight under the fuel price formula in line with increasing global prices.

Last week, there have been rumors in the region that Saudi Arabia and the UAE-both facing a bit of a cash crunch-are actually seeking to push oil prices higher and may be coordinating efforts to miss production targets to that end.

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