Making this projection in an interview with Reuters at the World Bank Conference in London, he stated that so long as US sanctions take effect on Iran in November, "I do not expect the price to close less than $80 this year". Reuters had reported on Friday that India would buy 9 million barrels of Iranian oil next month.
With US sanctions on Iran looming, Moody's Investors Service had estimated a $500 million decline in earnings for Indian state-owned refiners, IOC, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) on account of substituting crude oil imports from the Persian Gulf country.
Brent crude futures are trading with losses of 1.4% shedding over $1 following reports that the Trump administration are actively mulling waivers on Iranian sanctions that it will reimpose next month for countries that are reducing their imports of Iranian oil.
India would continue its energy imports from Iran even in the wake of the USA government's 4 November deadline, hinted petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday.
Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh on Monday called a Saudi claim that the kingdom could replace Iran's crude exports "nonsense".
"However it would come at a cost, both in terms of higher oil prices compared to the favourable terms it gets from Iran and in terms of higher shipping costs as they would inevitably be longer distance shipments compared to Iranian exports".
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Saudi Arabia said last week it plans to raise production in November from October output of 10.7 million barrels per day (bpd), indicating Riyadh will be boosting its supply to the highest ever level.
"Iran's oil can not be replaced by Saudi Arabia nor any other country", Zanganeh said, according to his ministry's website.
The Islamic Republic exported 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude in that seven-day period, Refinitiv Eikon data showed. The US expects all countries, including India, to reduce their Iranian oil imports to zero.
On Monday, petrol and diesel were selling at Rs 82.03 per litre and Rs 73.82 per litre, respectively, in New Delhi.
Russia has already reversed all 300,000 bpd cuts it had pledged in the deal with OPEC, and added another 100,000 bpd production in September, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said last week, but noted that in a very nervous and emotional market with a lot of uncertainties, he can't rule out oil prices hitting $100 a barrel. It added that the effective reversal of fuel price deregulation would also constrain future private sector investments in the sector.
"Oil should not only be priced from a producers' point of view consumers interest should also be taken care of", he said.