India will buy 9 million barrels of Iranian oil in November, two industry sources said, indicating the world`s third-biggest oil importer will continue purchasing crude from the Islamic Republic of Iran despite U.S. sanctions coming into force on Nov. 4.
“Refiners have placed November nominations to lift 1.25 million tonnes (about 9 million barrels) of oil from Iran,” one of the sources said.
Indian Oil Corp will lift 6 million barrels of Iranian oil and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd 3 million barrels, the source told Reuters.
The United States plans to impose new sanctions targeting Iran`s oil sector on Nov. 4 to try to stop the country`s involvement in conflicts in Syria and Iraq and bring Tehran to the negotiating table over its ballistic missile programme.
The sources declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to the media. Indian Oil and Mangalore Refinery did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“India is continuing with its relationship with both its key energy partners Iran and the U.S.,” a second source said.
A U.S. government official said the Trump administration is “in the midst of an internal process” of considering waivers for countries that are reducing imports of Iranian crude. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in India last month that the Trump administration would consider waivers for Iranian oil buyers such as India but they must eventually bring the imports to zero.
Indian refiners imported around 10 million barrels of Iranian oil in October, and its November shipments are expected to be lower.
In the previous round of sanctions from 2012 to 2015, India continued to buy Iranian crude although it had to cut purchases significantly to protect its wider exposure to the U.S. financial system.