India to continue buying Iranian oil despite US sanctions
India will continue purchasing crude from Iran despite US sanctions coming into force on November 4, Indian petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday.
Speaking at "The Energy Forum" in New Delhi, he said the world's third-largest oil importer did not know whether it would receive a waiver from U.S. sanctions.
Pradhan also added the country was considering evolving a different payment system to buy Iran's oil and that it could pay using Indian rupees.
Meeting with Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, last month on the sidelines of the U.N.'s annual meeting in New York, Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj stressed that her country will continue to purchase Iran's oil.
Zarif said after meeting, "Our Indian friends have always been categorical in terms of their intention to continue economic cooperation and (the) import of oil from Iran. And I heard the same statement from my Indian counterpart."
India is the second biggest purchaser of Iranian crude and Indian refiners imported around 10 million barrels of Iranian crude in October.
Besides India, China also increased shipments from the Middle Eastern country by 29,000 bpd to 620,000 bpd.
According to Kpler, China cut its US purchases amid an ongoing trade spat with the United States.
The rise comes despite a November 4 deadline set by US President Donald Trump for companies to "wind down" their trade with Iran which is to face sanctions on its energy sector.
Washington reinstated a series of unilateral sanctions against Iran in early August and would re-impose a second batch in November which would primarily be meant to undermine Tehran’s oil exports.
Beijing and New Delhi have thus far been defiant to Washington's call to stop buying Iranian oil, saying they abide only by sanctions imposed by the United Nations and not those imposed by any other country.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) warned against the significant impact of a US plan to impose crude oil sanctions against Iran, could challenge the world oil supply.
Oil prices recorded fourth weekly gain in a row with the reports of the declining Iranian crude oil exports ahead of the sanctions on Iran by the United States early next month.
International benchmark Brent crude traded at around $83.38 on Monday, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) stood at around $73.81.