India’s monthly oil imports from Nigeria has declined by about 34 per cent to about 279,000 barrels per day, data from industry and shipping source showed.
This is coming as Iraq has replaced Saudi Arabia in August as the top oil supplier to India, the data showed, as refiners turned to Iraqi barrels to compensate for a lower intake of Iranian oil ahead of U.S. sanctions in November.
The United States is re-imposing sanctions on Iran following Washington’s decision in May to withdraw from a 2015 International deal aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear programme. While some sanctions were implemented from August 6, those affecting Iran’s petroleum sector take effect only from November 4.
Imports of Iranian oil by India, Tehran’s top oil client after China, fell by about a third to about 523,000 bpd in August from July as state-refiners slowed purchases due to a delay in securing government approval to use Iranian ships.
Despite the lower purchases, Iran remained the third biggest oil supplier to India in August, the data showed.
Washington will consider waivers for Iranian oil buyers such as India but they must eventually halt imports as sanctions are imposed on Tehran, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last Thursday.
Iraq and Saudi Arabia continued to be the two biggest oil suppliers to India last month, the tanker arrival data obtained from sources showed. The sources declined to be identified.
India refiners shipped in 1.02 million barrels per day (bpd) of Iraqi Basra oil in August, an increase of about 46 percent from the previous month, while imports from Saudi Arabia declined 5 percent to about 747,000 bpd during the period, the data showed.
India imported less Nigerian oil in August as the west African nation’s output was hit by outages in a couple of major streams such as Bonny Light and Tornados. Also, Asian buyers opted to take light sweet U.S. oil rather than Nigerian.
Meanwhile, oil reportedly steadied yesterday a condition that was prompted by looming US sanctions against Iran’s petroleum industry.
But prices were capped by signs that increased supplies by other major producers, including the United States and Saudi Arabia, could make up for the disruptions from Iran.
The US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $67.61 per barrel up 7 cents from their last settlement, while the Brent crude futures climbed 11 cents to $77.48 a barrel.