U.S. may grant waivers on Iran crude sanctions

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On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading down 1.20% at $73.45 a barrel.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month said that on November 4th the sanctions against Iran will be enforced and that the US will consider waivers for countries that bring their Iranian oil purchases down to zero.

Iran says its oil flow to the market should not be hampered no matter what as Western oil news and information providers are steadily claiming declines in Iran's exports, putting them at about 1.7 million bpd ahead of the sanctions.

That is down from at least 2.5 million bpd in April, before President Donald Trump in May withdrew the US from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed sanctions. Brent hit a four-year high of $86.74 last week.

This comes amid reports that the Trump administration will not completely cut off Iranian oil exports on November 4 - there will be a transition period.

Reuters said that Indian Oil would buy six million barrels of oil and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals three million barrels.

The current stance differs drastically from the administration's position just four months ago, when Trump was pressuring his administration to fully enforce US sanctions on Iran.

Reeling from high oil prices, India has also reminded Saudi Arabia of the promise by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) of increasing production by an additional 1 million barrels per day, said Pradhan.

India had thus far not publicly articulated its stand on the issue, but with the advance orders placed for November, has made it clear that India will not "zero out" its oil intake from Iran.

Strangely, the market has ignored the fact that total OPEC output last month was at its highest level this year; and also the fact that Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia had agreed informally to raise output in the coming months. Iranian oil exports are declining fast, and the Saudi's have to find a way to increase production quickly.

Another production headwind helping to boost prices, Hurricane Michael, is expected to hit the Gulf of Mexico region Tuesday, threatening almost 300 miles of the Gulf coast.

Several models call for the Hurricane to miss major producing assets in the Gulf, but any change of track could widen the impact. The American Petroleum Institute is due to release data on Wednesday, while the U.S. Energy Information Administration is due to publish on Thursday. Early Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund cut its global economic growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019, saying that trade policy tensions and rising import tariffs were taking a toll on commerce while emerging markets struggle with tighter financial conditions and capital outflows.

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