T he U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran in November after abrogating a nuclear deal in a dispute over Tehran's nuclear and missile ambitions, although India and other countries were exempted from the curbs. He also threatened to deploy the Israeli Navy to help tackle Iran's alleged efforts to illegally take oil through sea routes to avoid U.S. sanctions.
Earlier this month, India's Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan, while speaking with Sputnik, said that the sanctions waiver on Iranian crude may continue despite a toughening of U.S. stance on other trade matters, including the withdrawal of the Generalised System of Preference (GSP).
Venezuela's oil production had already been collapsing for more than two years, at a rate of around 50,000 bpd each month, due to the economic collapse and years of mismanagement and underinvestment in the oil industry.
"Zeroing out could prove difficult" adding a price of around $65 a barrel for worldwide benchmark Brent crude was "the high end of Trump's crude price comfort zone", said another source.
For March, Indian Oil Corp had placed an order for 5 million barrels, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd for 2 million, and Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp for 1 million each.
When asked about Iran's efforts to secure ships, a third Iranian source said they were looking at all options.
While the latest talks on waivers aimed for a reduction in exports, the sources said the administration remained committed to a complete halt in the future.
U.S. secretary of State, Mike Pompeo would be meeting with top oil executives before addressing a conference scheduled to be held later on Tuesday (March 12th), at least three people of companies briefed on the subject matter revealed earlier on Tuesday (March 12th).
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The United States wants to slash Iran's crude-oil exports by some 20 percent beginning in May by demanding that importers reduce purchases or face US sanctions, Reuters news agency reports.
It is not yet clear if reduced volumes of 8 million barrels a month is the new condition imposed by Washington for granting a second waiver to New Delhi from sanctions against Tehran.
India has been allowed by Washington to continue to buy about 300,000 bpd oil till early May.
Yet, experts say that sanctions on Iran and Venezuela would have driven oil prices much higher if it weren't for the soaring US oil production that has been capping price gains.
The administration is considering denying extension requests made by Italy, Greece and Taiwan - in part because they have not made full use of their waivers so far, one of the sources said. Since India also buys a lot of oil from Venezuela, the United States will struggle to convince India that it can do without much of its oil imports unless a new supplier emerges from thin air. China has already openly said they'll keep buying oil with or without U.S. permission, and India is also seen likely to keep doing so simply out of necessity.
Iran has been in discussions with South Korea to purchase several new super tankers, but the talks have gone nowhere as of yet.
He said he expects China and India purchases alone to account for around 800,000 to 900,000 bpd.