U.S. Warns Iranian Oil Tankers May Be Courting 'Environmental Disaster'

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The U.S. State Department says it is exempting Iran's big port project in Chabahar from sanctions in recognition of its importance to landlocked Afghanistan.

However, Washington granted waivers to Iran's biggest customers to allow limited imports for 180 days.

During the 2+2 ministerial level talks in September, apparently an understanding was arrived at, whereby India would take steps to reduce oil imports from Iran substantially.

The API reported a draw in gasoline inventories for week ending November 2 in the amount of 1.2 million barrels. The United States has taken this arbitrary step after announcing withdrawal from the nuclear agreement with Iran in May this year.

US bank J.P. Morgan said the "sell-off in oil was due to excessive crude" from rising production "whilst Iranian supply was still in the market".

Trump said on Monday he wants to impose sanctions on Iran's oil gradually, citing concerns about shocking markets and causing global price spikes. Fund managers have started to establish short positions betting on further price falls (tmsnrt.rs/2P8LQ1S). In hopes of mitigating the immediate economic hit, Iranian authorities have hinted that Tehran might have to sell its oil at a discount to entice buyers going forward.

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The United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia are pumping at or near record highs, producing more than 33 million barrels per day (bpd), a third of the world's oil.

Two Chinese sources familiar with the matter said the country would be allowed to buy 360,000 bpd of Iranian crude during the exemption period. Strong crack margins should ensure a strong pick-up in refinery demand for crude oil - leading to lower stocks - once they return from maintenance.

"These transponders are created to maximize visibility at sea and turning them off only increases risk of accidents and injuries", Hook said. "Self-insured Iranian tankers engaging in unsafe behavior, with many tons of crude oil on board, are courting environmental and financial disaster". "The US has given waiver to some countries including India".

The market has "more bearish overtones in terms of supply, with American crude output seen rising this year by the most ever", said Stephen Innes, Singapore-based head of trading for Asia Pacific at Oanda. To defy the United States sanctions and preserve its strategic autonomy would require a break from this strategic alliance - something which the Modi regime can not even contemplate.

The sanctions are meant to exert pressure on Iran to renegotiate its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which Trump walked away from this year. The first round of United States sanctions were re-imposed in August and the second on Monday. Still, Iran demonstrated considerable resilience and ingenuity in coping with earlier global sanctions, and there is little to suggest Tehran could not do this again.

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