India allows state refiners to use Iran tankers, insurance for oil imports

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India is allowing state refiners to import Iranian oil on a cost, insurance and freight basis, switching to Iranian vessels after most Western insurers dropped Iran.

Local refiners are finding it increasingly hard to maintain their Iranian oil imports without USA exemptions, as the companies will need to halt imports and clear transactions before the sanctions snap back on November 5.

Oman's oil minister, also speaking to CNBC, said not enough attention was being paid to how trade tensions could damage China's demand for oil.

The EU has triggered legislation known as the blocking statute, which effectively prohibits European companies from complying with third-party sanctions. Still, many Asian importers are continuing to plan for Iranian oil purchases despite the USA sanctions.

Energy expert John Kilduff counts Iran sanctions as the top reason West Texas Intermediate (WTI) could climb as much as 30 percent by winter, and that could spell $4 a gallon unleaded gasoline at the pumps.

Japan has been asking for a waiver from its ally, saying imports of Iranian crude have been recently falling.

According to the news report by Reuters, the week started with the price of oil gaining due to concerns that the reduced output from Iran once the USA sanctions kick in are going to tighten the markets.

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With the U.S. increasingly exporting oil, weather disturbances can also cause price increases.

"It has a lot to do with just lots of positive sentiment in the oil speculator market", said Rob Haworth, who helps oversee $151 billion at US Bank Wealth Management in Seattle.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, oil minister for Bahrain, said, "I think there is a risk on the demand side; obviously the trade issue is going to impact demand in a negative fashion if it continues, [and] you've got the strong dollar, which is another factor". Observed crude flows were the weakest since January.

In August, Russia produced 11.21 million barrels of oil per day according to data mailed by Russian energy ministry to Bloomberg.

"With the anticipation of up to 1.5 million barrels per day affected by the U.S. sanctions on Iran, one would expect prices to move higher in the weeks ahead".

His thoughts came as WTI crude oil exceeded $70 a barrel on Thursday, and rallied to one month highs.

Oman is a principal supplier of oil to China, with the latter buying nearly 90 percent of its exports previous year.

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