U.S. may grant waivers on Iran crude sanctions

"The oil market mood is exceptionally bullish, with fears growing that the USA demands for an Iran oil embargo could cause a significant supply shortfall", said Julius Baer commodities research analyst Carsten Menke.

Besides, New Delhi sought to get around the restrictions by supplying goods including wheat, soybean meal and consumer products to Iran in exchange for oil.

"There is growing concern that suppliers such as Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation will struggle to compensate for potential production declines from Iran and Venezuela, which has supported oil prices in today's trading session", said Abhishek Kumar, senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy in London.

Oil has been supported by concern that the Iranian export loss will leave a thinner margin of unused production capacity to deal with supply shocks.

As reported, Indian Oil Corp will lift six million barrels of Iranian oil while Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd ships in three million barrels.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down 1.32% to $83.05 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange early on Monday.

Although US sanctions against Iran begin on November 5, the US State Department is reportedly looking at reduction waivers for individual countries - with India cited - to give them more time to replace oil imports from Iran.

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India has already stated that it will continue importing oil from Iran as they "do not recognise sanctions imposed by anyone other than the United Nations".

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that Iran's economy fell into a recession this year that will get worse next year as a result of renewed USA sanctions on Tehran.

Prince Mohammed told Bloomberg on Friday that the kingdom had met its promise to Washington to make up for Iranian oil supplies lost through U.S. sanctions, reimposed when the United States exited a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and six powers.

This is the first time Pradhan has spoken about India's stand on buying Iranian oil once the USA sanctions on Iran come into force from 4 November.

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.

India, the world's third-largest oil importer, is a major importer of Iranian oil. The Indian basket represents the average of Oman, Dubai and Brent crude. Also, subsidised domestic cooking gas prices have been increased by Rs 2.89 per 14.2 kg cylinder to Rs 502.40, an all-time high. Additionally, the state-owned oil marketing companies have been mandated to reduce prices of petrol and diesel by Re 1 a litre.

In the run-up to 2019 general elections, Fitch Ratings recently raised the spectre of return of state control on fuel pricing in India.

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