India defies USA, buying Iranian oil despite sanctions

US considers sanction waivers on countries reducing imports of Iranian oil

And then there is the speculative positioning that hedge funds and other money managers have been taking in recent weeks, amassing bullish bets amid fears that the USA sanctions on Iran could remove as much as 2 million bpd from the oil market in less than a month's time.

"Refiners have placed November nominations to lift 1.25 million tonnes (about 9 million barrels) of oil from Iran", a source has told Reuters.

Reuters said that Indian Oil would buy six million barrels of oil and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals three million barrels.

A USA government official said on Friday that the Trump administration is actively considering waivers on sanctions it will re-impose next month for countries that are reducing their imports of Iranian oil.

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India would continue its energy imports from Iran even in the wake of the United States government's 4 November deadline, hinted petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday.

In August, Trump reimposed economic sanctions against Tehran and said that anyone doing business with Iran would not be doing business with the US.

Benchmark Brent crude was up 55 cents at $84.46 a barrel by 0730 GMT, having fallen as low as $82.66 on Monday.

Reeling from high oil prices, India has also reminded Saudi Arabia of the promise by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) of increasing production by an additional 1 million barrels per day, said Pradhan.

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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.

He has dismissed claims by the Saudi crown prince as "nonsense".

Delhi is hopeful that Saudi Arabia and other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will heed U.S. calls for production to be boosted by one million barrels per day, as promised in June, which might help bring benchmark prices down.

The government last week effected a Rs 2.50 per litre cut in prices of petrol and diesel to ease inflationary pressure and boost consumer confidence. Worldwide crude oil prices had reached a record high of $147 per barrel in July 2009. Many BJP-ruled states have also cut the value-added tax (VAT) on fuel by an equivalent amount. "The basic point is that they are all government companies", Pradhan said, according to The Hindu.

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