Iran finds creative ways as United States cranks up pressure

Mae Love
October 9, 2018

Pradhan said a new world order was being established and added, "Is this not a recognition of India's leadership?"

India will buy a total of 9 million barrels of oil from Iran in November, foreign media reported yesterday, citing an industry source, despite USA sanctions on Tehran to return early next month.

With the deadline for the imposition of the sanctions on Iran nearing and rising uncertainty around the potential impact of noncompliance, oil imports from Iran to major consumers (including India) dipped in the last few weeks. Pradhan said India has its own energy requirements which need to be fulfilled.

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".

Indian Oil Corp will lift 6 million barrels of Iranian oil and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd 3 million barrels, the source told Reuters. USA sanctions will block payment routes. Paying in rupee is an option.

During the first round of sanctions when European Union joined the United States in imposing financial restrictions, India initially used a Turkish bank to pay Iran for the oil it bought but beginning February 2013 paid almost half of the oil import bill in rupees while keeping the remainder pending till opening of payment routes.

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The inaction by OPEC and Russian Federation at the end of September-and the growing evidence from tanker tracking data that Iran's oil exports have started to fall quicker than most market participants had been expecting-has emboldened bulls, and some analysts started to predict that the possibility of $100 oil as soon as year's end is not to be ruled out. Oil operators continue to close ahead of the hurricane with around 20% of oil production affected. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Nigeria, and the United States do not offer these terms. But other world powers that signed the agreement - Russia, China, Britain, Germany, and France - have said they will help Iran circumvent the sanctions and keep selling its oil.

"Refiners have placed November nominations to lift 1.25 million tonnes (about 9 million barrels) of oil from Iran", one of the sources said.

USA president Donald Trump in May withdrew from the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, re-imposing economic sanctions against the Persian Gulf nation.

The primary market driver, however, is a report which showed Iran's crude exports fell further in the first week of October, according to taker data and an industry source.

The discrepancy of 300,000 bpd in the statistics attests to an underlying campaign to create the sense that Iran's exports are dropping fast, with some market analysts even claiming the losses were faster than they expected.

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