Oil Declines on Hopes for U.S. Waivers on Iran, Saudi Assurance

International Court of Justice

International Court of Justice

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India, however, wants to keep importing oil from Iran, because Tehran offers discounts and incentives for them at a time when the Indian government is struggling with higher oil prices and a weakening local currency.

A U.S. government official, who spoke on the grounds of anonymity, said the Trump administration is "in the midst of an internal process" of considering exceptions called SRE waivers, or significant reduction exemptions.

A USA government official said on Friday that the administration was considering waivers on Iran's oil sanctions.

However, the Trump administration this weekend announced it is considering waivers on sanctions for countries that are merely reducing their imports of Iranian oil.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last month that the White House would only consider waivers for Iran's oil buyers if they vowed to eventually bring their imports to zero.

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In May, Trump pulled the USA out of the Iran nuclear deal despite objection from the other signatories, the UK, Russia, Germany, China, and France, re-imposing sanctions lifted under the deal. He added that the administration would not necessarily achieve that.

The world's third-biggest oil consumer, India, will continue importing crude from Iran despite U.S. threats to punish companies working in the Islamic Republic past the November sanctions deadline, Reuters reports. China, too, attempted in March to launch crude futures contracts in local currency to circumvent United States sanctions barring Tehran access to the greenback.

Saudi Arabia's ARAMCO has said it will make up for market demands for crude in Iran's place.

Speaking at the energy forum in New Delhi on Monday, Pradhan said India did not know whether it would receive a waiver from Washington's sanctions.

Following U.S. President Donald Trump's pressure to tame surging prices, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said the world's top oil exporter is doing its part by pumping near record levels.

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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