The Economic Times of India reported that the USA has broadly agreed to grant India a waiver from Iran sanctions, which would allow Indian Oil companies to continue to import about 1.25 million tons of oil a month from Tehran till March, sources familiar with the matter said, adding that an official announcement could come over the next few days. Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation have said they will pump enough to meet demand once USA sanctions are imposed.
USA stocks suffered big losses Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average sinking over 600 points, which raised concerns that a possible slowdown in global economic growth could reduce oil demand.
Monthly crude oil production in several USA states reached a record high.
While the United States sanctions on Iran are expected to constrain supply, analysts say that the markets seem to have priced it in.
While there were reasons to be bearish on oil prices, Iranian sanctions could send oil prices higher, at least for the foreseeable future.
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While that action isn't expected to come, OPEC oil production did rise by 100,000 barrels per day during September through lower adherence to the output cap, amid fears over the impact of lower exports of Iranian oil.
West Texas Intermediate for December delivery declined 39 cents to $63.30 a barrel at 10:48 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent for January settlement rose 0.5 percent, or 36 cents, to $73.25 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The global benchmark crude traded at $9.33 premium to WTI for the same month.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday in a presidential memorandum that he had determined there was sufficient supply of petroleum and petroleum products from nations other than Iran to permit a reduction in purchases from that country.
The end-of-week bounce wasn't enough to offset losses earlier in the week as speculation mounts that supply is exceeding expectations.
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Iran was selling roughly 1.7 million to 1.9 million barrels per day (Mmbpd) in September.
Oil is also under pressure from rising output by the world's biggest producers - Russia, the United States and Saudi Arabia - who are helping to replenish global oil inventories after more than a year of stock draws.
Several countries appealed for and got short-term waivers; eight countries in all, including India, China, Turkey, South Korea and Japan.
Moreover, Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Tuesday that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners are in "produce as much as you can" mode. That's a post-Soviet record, and not far off the highest-ever production.
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