Iranian crude oil and condensate exports slumped to just under 1.7 million b/d in September, a fall of nearly 700,000 b/d from May, according to Platts estimates. "So we did our job and more".
While India wants to continue importing Iranian oil, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month said Washington would consider waivers on the embargo but made clear that these would be time-limited, if granted. Front-month ICE Brent futures settled above $86/b Wednesday, the highest in four years, before dropping back below $85/b Thursday.
Oil capped the longest run of weekly gains since the start of this year amid concern that Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation might not pump enough crude to prevent a supply crunch as Iranian cargoes disappear from world markets.
However, some analysts doubt that 12 million barrels a day can be reached quickly, or maintained for an extended period.
Like Putin, Al-Falih blamed part of the increase on the market's anticipation of disruptions in Iran and elsewhere, rather than the current balance between supply and demand.
Friday marked the end of a particularly volatile week for crude that saw one massive uptick, one massive loss, and everything in between, and culminating in flat trading for the Brent and West Texas Intermediate benchmarks - with traders obsessed over what market impact the USA sanctions against Iran will have when they come into effect in November.
It faces a November 4 deadline to reimpose harsh sanctions on Iran, lifted in 2015 by the United States under terms of an global nuclear deal with Tehran that President Donald Trump abandoned in May. Iran says it has abided by the 2015 nuclear deal, which was struck with five other world powers, besides the United States.
The Saudis, by contrast, are bitter rivals with Iran in the Middle Eastern region and applauded Trump's decision to quit the nuclear deal.
The court further said that sanctions on goods "required for humanitarian needs. may have a serious detrimental impact on the health and lives of individuals on the territory of Iran".
While Indian Oil Corporation will lift 6 million barrels of Iranian oil, the numbers for Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd is 3 million barrels. But its output has declined sharply in recent months under the threat of US sanctions. Already in overtime, a meeting of the 195-nation Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Incheon, South Korea is vetting a major report that traces pathways for limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).