"This price for oil is very largely the result of the current USA administration - these expectations of sanctions against Iran, the political problems in Venezuela", Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a conference in Moscow on Wednesday.
US President Donald Trump's administration is considering sanction waivers for countries that are reducing their imports of Iranian oil, a US government official said on Friday. Supply concerns from Iran, increased U.S. stockpiles and reports about Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia raising production kept the crude counter busy.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 54 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $73.80 a barrel. Notable crude such as Benchmark Brent has gained 30 cents per barrel (currently at United States dollars 84.90) after falling USD 1.34 per barrel on Thursday.
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 US financial system.
Last week, there have been rumors in the region that Saudi Arabia and the UAE-both facing a bit of a cash crunch-are actually seeking to push oil prices higher and may be coordinating efforts to miss production targets to that end.
Salman said a coalition of producers from OPEC has recently boosted output by 1.5 million barrels a day, which is double the 700,000-barrel decline in output experienced so far by Iran under the threat of USA sanctions on its oil sector, which are due to take effect on November 5.
The comments followed news that India, Iran's No. 2 oil customer after China, will buy 9 million barrels of Iranian oil in November.
"Iranian exports could fall below 1 million bpd in November", U.S. bank Jefferies said. Last month, the group appeared to rebuff his calls for a rapid production increase to offset the drop in Iranian shipments, prompting a surge in prices and even harsher rhetoric.
India's purchases of United States crude oil have fallen by 75 percent over the past four months as the subcontinent stocks up on Iranian crude, Reuters has reported. The deal was struck as oil prices began to climb towards $80 per barrel. The Indian oil refiners buy Iranian crude at $3-5 a barrel discount compared to that from other parts of Middle East.