Oil prices steady after Iranian exports fall further

US considers sanction waivers on countries reducing imports of Iranian oil

They are the world's third-largest oil importer and Iran's second biggest user after China who are also in conflict with the US President over trade.

"One way or another, it looks as though India is going to take some Iranian crude", said Olivier Jakob of Petromatrix, adding that the development was helping oil to "retrace some of the price surge we saw last week". Of the 220.4 million metric tonnes (million MT) of crude oil imported by India in 2017-18, about 9.4 per cent, was from Iran.

President Donald Trump has pulled the United States out of a historic 2015 accord with energy-rich Iran signed to curb the Islamic republic's nuclear programme in return for ending sanctions.

Iran's crude exports fell further in the first week of October, according to tanker data and an industry source, taking a major hit from U.S. sanctions and throwing a challenge to other OPEC oil producers as they seek to cover the shortfall.

Wells, who was in New Delhi earlier this month as part of the delegation accompanying US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for the India-US "2+2" dialogue, said there was no "blanket waiver or country-specific waiver" from US sanctions on trading with or investing in Iran or buying arms from Russian Federation.

For India, reeling under oil price hike and the burden of depreciating rupee, continued flow of Iran oil even as sanctions kick in on November 4 would be a great relief.

"Two of our oil companies have made nominations to purchase Iranian oil in November", he reportedly said at "The Energy Forum" on Monday.

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

Iran may indeed have not cut production yet to match the rate of decline in its exports, as the country appears to be storing more oil on ships as it did during sanctions that applied until the 2015 nuclear deal.

Opec accounts for around 40% of the global production.

The Islamic Republic exported 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude in that seven-day period, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

"Iran's oil can not be replaced by Saudi Arabia nor any other country", Zanganeh was quoted as saying on his ministry's website.

Brent crude was up 26 cents, 0.3 percent, at $84.17 a barrel by 0244 GMT. Oil dropped to around $83 a barrel on Monday.

Pradhan said he had urged Saudi Arabia's oil minister to keep in mind the interests of oil consuming countries when it came to higher prices. Additionally, the state-owned oil marketing companies have been mandated to reduce prices of petrol and diesel by Re 1 a litre. It added that the effective reversal of fuel price deregulation would also constrain future private sector investments in the sector.

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