Oil prices rise as Iranian crude exports fall

However, a US 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.

"Refiners have placed November nominations to lift 1.25 million tonnes (about 9 million barrels) of oil from Iran", one of the sources said.

A vessel carrying 2 million barrels of Iranian oil was reported on Tuesday to have discharged the crude into a bonded storage tank at the port of Dalian in northeast China.

USA sanctions on Iranian oil purchases are due to take effect on November 4.

He said: "We have to fulfil all our domestic requirements".

On November 4, a second round of USA sanctions against Iran will target the oil industry, and impose penalties on oil companies, refineries, insurers and transport companies dealing with Iran. But the actual volumes imported may be far less as companies like Reliance Industries have totally stopped buying oil from Iran and others too are scaling it down in hope of winning a sanction waiver from the US. "Iran's oil can not be replaced by Saudi Arabia nor any other country", Zanganeh was quoted as saying on his ministry's website.

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.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wants Pope Francis to visit
Following their meeting a day earlier, Kim was heard saying to the top USA diplomat, "I am really pleased for this opportunity. He called on the US side to stop "groundless accusations against China and wrong actions undermining China's core interests".

DUBAI - Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh has dismissed claims by the Saudi crown prince that Saudi Arabia can replace sanctions-hit Iranian oil in the market as "nonsense". Prince Mohammad told Bloomberg on Friday the kingdom had met its promise to Washington to make up for Iranian oil supplies lost through USA sanctions.

Hedge funds cut their bullish wagers on USA crude in the latest week to the lowest level in almost a year, data showed on Friday.

Three other very large crude carriers, operated by National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), are set to arrive in Dalian in the next week or two, it said.

Global benchmark Brent crude traded at around $83.38 on Monday, down almost 1 percent, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) stood at around $73.81, around 0.7 percent lower.

Besides, New Delhi sought to get around the restrictions by supplying goods including wheat, soybean meal and consumer products to Iran in exchange for oil. An industry source also said October shipments were so far below 1 million bpd. The Indian basket represents the average of Oman, Dubai and Brent crude. Additionally, the state-owned oil marketing companies have been mandated to reduce prices of petrol and diesel by Re 1 a litre.

In the run-up to 2019 general elections, Fitch Ratings recently raised the spectre of return of state control on fuel pricing in India.

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