Crude oil stays steady with Iranian sanctions just a month away

US challenges International Court of Justice ruling on Iran sanctions regime

However, a United States government official said on Friday that the country could consider exemptions for nations that have already shown efforts to reduce their imports of Iranian oil.

Crude oil prices stayed steady Friday after a volatile week that saw the highest prices in four years.

The Indian government "has conveyed to the Trump administration that India is a fit case for a presidential waiver from the provisions of Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CATSA) on Russian Federation and the sanctions on trade with Iran", the Hindustan Times reported on Friday.

US drillers cut two oil rigs in the week to October 5, General Electric Co's (GE.N) Baker Hughes energy services firm said on Friday RIG-OL-USA-BHI, as rising costs and pipeline bottlenecks in the nation's largest oil field have hindered new drilling since June.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 55 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $74.88 a barrel.

President Donald Trump moved to restore tough United States penalties in May after withdrawing from Tehran's nuclear accord with world powers.

Hearings alleged violations of the 1955 Treaty of Amity Iran vs the U.S. in The Hague
Crude rises as alarm bells sound over supply crunch

Reuters separately said that India will buy 9 million barrels of Iranian oil in November, indicating that the world's third biggest oil importer would continue to buy crude from the Islamic Republic despite the USA sanctions.

Last week, there have been rumors in the region that Saudi Arabia and the UAE-both facing a bit of a cash crunch-are actually seeking to push oil prices higher and may be coordinating efforts to miss production targets to that end. Saudi Arabia at present produces 10.7 million barrels per day. OPEC's hesitance to drive prices lower, along with supply drops from Iran on the order of 1.5 million barrels a day, made for bullish sentiment at the meeting of the Asian oil industry in Singapore.

Overall US exports also fell 917,000 bpd to 1.7 million bpd in the last week of September, according to the Energy Information Administration, as a stronger US dollar and Brent's premium to WTI fell, making US crude less affordable. The deal was struck as oil prices began to climb towards $80 per barrel.

Indian Oil Corp will lift 6 million barrels of Iranian oil and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals another 3 million barrels, the source said.

In this context, the Indian public sector oil firms have been contracting Iran for the next month to import crude oil.

"The Saudis won't flood the market and they don't want to see it oversupplied", UBS Group AG analyst Giovanni Staunovo said.

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