USA oil exports fall as India turns to Iran ahead of sanctions

US santions,India,Sanctions waiver

Estimates of the sanctions impact have increased sharply since May, when many analysts still expected the United States to grant widespread waivers to countries that make significant cuts, as the administration of Barack Obama did in 2012-15. Speculators and hedge funds too were active in the market, making most of the volatility. On Wednesday, the global benchmark hit a late 2014 high of $86.74. Brent crude had risen from below $82 a barrel in the beginning of the week.

Brent crude LCOc1 futures gained 9 cents to $84.67 a barrel.

Last month, Indian buyers lifted purchases of Iranian crude to 502,000 bpd, up 111,000 bpd over August, in "a last gasp" of purchases 'before sanctions actually hit, ' a US-based trader said, adding that those additional barrels displaced United States crude.

Indian Oil Corp will lift 6 million barrels of Iranian oil and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd 3 million barrels, it cited a source with the knowledge of the matter as saying. Since April this year the exports have been falling.

"The request that America made to Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries is to be sure that if there is any loss of supply from Iran, that we will supply that", Muhammad Bin Salman, heir to the Saudi throne, told Bloomberg in an interview published on October 5.

Further weighing on oil prices was "chatter that Saudi Arabia has replaced all of Iran's lost oil", said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore.

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Russian Federation is pumping record volumes of crude and Saudi Arabia is nearly there too.

"Iranian exports could fall below 1 million bpd in November", U.S. bank Jefferies said. The total USA stockpiles of crude and petroleum products climbed to 1.25 billion barrels, the highest level in 10 months.

However, Russia, which rivals the Saudis as a top global producer, does not support the USA sanctions against Iran and has vowed to help Iran get around them and keep exporting oil.

In September, Indian buyers increased purchases of Iranian crude to 502,000 billion per day, up 111,000 billion per day over August.

India, Iran's top client after China, has close diplomatic ties with Iran, where it is building a strategic port called Chabahar that is expected to be operational by 2019.

While Russia's involvement in brokering this no-longer-secret deal with the Saudis seems to contradict its own geopolitical interests and public statements, there are a few motives that seem to explain the Russian decision to aid the US effort to offset a coming supply shock resulting from the removal of Iranian oil from the global market. India accounted for 12 per cent of U.S. crude exports in June.

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