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Indian Companies Will Buy Iranian Crude in November

Indian Companies Will Buy Iranian Crude in NovemberIndian Companies Will Buy Iranian Crude in November

Two Indian oil companies have placed orders to import Iranian crude next month, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said Monday, defying a call from President Donald Trump's administration for countries to completely cut-off Iran.

US sanctions targeting Iran's crude oil exports come into force from November 4, with Washington ratcheting up the pressure on governments and companies around the world to slash their Iranian oil imports to zero.

However, Pradhan said India would continue to purchase Iranian crude in November, CNBC reported.

Speaking at The Energy Forum in New Delhi, he said the world's third-largest oil importer did not know whether it would receive a waiver from US sanctions.

Pradhan also added the country was considering evolving a different payment system to buy Iran's oil and that it could pay using Indian rupees. This would signal an attempt to bypass US sanctions on Iranian transactions using the dollar - the dominant currency in global oil trade.

>Question of Waivers

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in India last month that the White House would only consider waivers for Iran's oil buyers if they vowed to eventually bring their imports to zero.

Indian refiners imported around 10 million barrels of Iranian crude in October, although its November shipments are likely to be lower.

State owned oil and gas company, Indian Oil, are planning on purchasing 6 million barrels of Iranian oil next month, while Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals were set to buy 3 million barrels.

In the previous round of US sanctions on Iran from 2012 to 2015, India continued to purchase Iran's oil although it was forced to dramatically reduce its purchases to protect its wider exposure to the US financial system.

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