Published: Fri, November 02, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

US said to give 8 nations oil waivers under Iran sanctions

US said to give 8 nations oil waivers under Iran sanctions

WTI and Brent crude futures continued to trend lower following reports that the U.S. has agreed to let several countries keep purchasing Iranian oil.

India on Thursday said it was engaged with the US, Iran and other stakeholders on the issue of American sanctions on import of Iranian oil, amid indications that the Trump administration may grant New Delhi waiver from punitive measures.

A list of all countries getting waivers is expected to be released officially on Monday, several industry sources said.

"Why not?" HPCL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh K Surana said at a press conference, when asked if his firm would look at resuming oil imports from Iran if India gets a waiver.

India would continue to buy Iranian oil in the current fiscal year to March but to secure the waiver may agree to further cut purchases, the source said.

The goal of the law, which came into effect during the Obama administration, was to put pressure on Iran to curtail its nuclear programme by forcing its major oil customers to reduce their purchases. However, Iran's crude and condensate exports held at 1.9 million bpd in September, according to EIA estimates based on data from ClipperData. Indian officials, in their discussions with USA counterparts have pointed out that first, Indian refineries are configured to work with Iranian crude, and second, Iran still offers better credit, insurance and freight terms to Indian buyers, which remains a key consideration. During a previous round of sanctions at the start of the decade, Iranian oil exports declined at times to below 1 million bpd.

Bolton said the administration understands that a number of countries, some close geographically to Iran which he visited last week, and others "may not be able to go all the way, all the way to zero immediately".

"The waivers granted to these eight countries show that the market needs Iran's oil and it can not be pulled out of the market".

A Chinese official told Reuters that discussions with the us government were ongoing and that a result was expected over the next couple of days.

However, the waivers seem to be making the sanctions totally irrelevant, as the countries receiving them account for a lion's share of the oil Iran exports. Turkey's Energy Ministry said on Friday it had not received written notification of any exemption.

United States hardliners want to press ahead on SWIFT, but others argue to keep the option as a bargaining card with the Europeans and say that SWIFT access remains useful in tracking Iranian transactions.

Iran on Friday said that the waivers granted by the United States showed the Iranian crude was needed and could not be withdrawn from the market.

Russian Federation has been planning to import oil from Tehran but no major projects have materialized.

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