Oil prices kept falling on Thursday, as a larger-than-expected increase in USA crude stockpiles continued to weigh on the market.
India said on Thursday that it was engaged with the stakeholders over the issue of American sanctions on import of Iranian oil slated to come into effect from November 4. "Already at $80, we are seeing emerging-market local oil prices pretty close to where we peaked a few years ago ... the race to protect consumers from further price rises from here could potentially impact demand growth sooner than would otherwise have been expected".
Talking over the U.S. sanctions over the import of Iranian oil from November 4, Mr. Kumar said, "Our discussions are on with Iran and other stakeholders".
The South Asian country had planned to cut purchases to zero in November, but refiners later decided on limited imports after the government asked them to subsidize retail fuel prices.
President Donald Trump on Thursday acknowledged for the first time that dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi is likely dead and saw there would be very severe consequences if it was determined that Saudi rulers were behind it, without specifying what they would be. Among the stakeholders are the US, Iran and others. However, Iran's customers began cutting their orders after Trump announced in May that sanctions would be re-imposed. The latest news in this due came on Tuesday, when National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC)'s Managing Director Ali Kardor announced that offering crude oil at Iran Energy Exchange (IRENEX) will be commenced on October 28 to thwart United States sanctions.
"We evaluate waivers on a case by case basis", said U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.
Reuters' data confirms earlier reports from TankerTrackers.com, which repeatedly warned that Iran's oil exports have not fallen by as much as official shipping data suggests: NIOC tankers began switching off their transponders to hide their routes earlier this year.
Turkey has been vocally opposed to the USA sanctions on Iran and has said it will not cut trade ties with Tehran at the behest of other countries.
The Iranian official, in turn, said the Islamic Republic expects South Korea as one of its key business partners to continue its operation in Iran in the situation created by the United States sanctions.
During 2017, Iran was Turkey's top crude oil source, accounting for 11.5 million tons of its total purchases nearing 26 million tons, followed by Iraq and Russian Federation.
Top Iranian customer China remains a wildcard.
He added, "There is no shortage of oil; the big producers both in OPEC and non OPEC have the capacity to continue to keep this market very wet", and he then reiterated that his cartel has "no price objective" but instead wants to keep the balance of supply and demand.