PM’s Appeal To Oil Producing Nations Gets A Negative From Saudi Minister


PM Modi meets CEOs and Experts from oil and gas sector from India and abroad in New Delhi

New Delhi: 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today appealed to top oil producers, including Saudi Arabia, to help nations like India bridge what he called a “resource crunch” – a fallout of rising crude prices. At the third annual brainstorming session with chief executives of top global and Indian oil and gas companies, PM Modi underscored how high oil prices were hurting global growth and sought reasonable prices that work for both producers and consumers.

The rising crude oil prices have pushed the rupee down – this year it has fallen 14.5 per cent, making imports costlier. The country is heavily dependent on imports, with around 83 per cent of the fuel being bought from abroad.

“The oil market is producer driven and both the quantity and prices are determined by the oil-producing countries… Though there is enough production, the unique features of marketing in the oil sector have pushed up the oil prices,” a statement issued at the end of the meet quoted the prime minister as saying.

Saudi oil minister Khalid A Al-Falih, who was present at the meet, however, said oil prices were not within their control.

“Many factors lie outside the control of oil producers like us… we only control supply,” he told reporters. He, however, said he has met the Prime Minister and oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan and “assured them of full and continued commitment of meeting India’s oil demand and investing in India”.

The meet was held as petrol and diesel prices continued their upward march despite a drop in crude oil prices by 5 to 6 dollars a barrel. The hike has almost wiped out the Rs 2.50 cut made by the government last week.

Diesel now costs Rs 75.46 per litre in Delhi – slightly higher than Rs 75.45 a litre price when the government announced the excise duty cut on October 4. Petrol costs Rs 82.72 per litre and has witnessed an increase of Rs 1.22 per litre since the October 4 decision.

The Congress has kept up the pressure on the government over the oil price rise. “I don’t understand. World fuel prices are falling, how are the petrol prices rising? Modi-ji not putting money in your pocket, so whose pocket is he giving it?” party chief Rahul Gandhi has said.





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Income Tax Officials Beaten Up During Raid At Madhya Pradesh Oil Mill Owner Home


Morena, Madhya Pradesh: 

Officials of the Income Tax Department (ITD) were allegedly assaulted while carrying out a raid at the house of an oil mill owner in Morena town of Madhya Pradesh, police said.

Police registered a first information report (FIR) against Govind Bansal, the owner of Surajbhan Oil Mill in Morena, and three members of his family today.

The ITD team has been carrying out searches at the Bansal family’s house in Jiwajiganj area and other properties since Tuesday for suspected tax evasion, police said.

Superintendent of Police Amit Sanghi said the FIR was registered on the complaint of Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax Vikram Pagharia who was heading the ITD team.

Mr Pagharia alleged in the complaint that he and other officials were abused and beaten up by Govind Bansal, Surajbhan Bansal, Vishnu Bansal and another person.

“The case was registered at Kotwali Police Station against them for abusing and assaulting the officials and obstructing official work,” the SP said.

All four accused are absconding, he added.

Mr Pagharia alleged that the ITD team was attacked by Bansal and others when the officials were seizing documents related to illegal transactions and benami properties besides jewellery worth Rs 60 lakh and some cash.

The accused tried to snatch away the documents, cash and jewellery from the officials, he claimed.

They even tore his clothes, he said in the complaint.

The ITD team found over a thousand pages of documents related to suspected tax evasion and benami properties, he said.

The searches were continuing Thursday, officials said.





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How Donald Trump Is Rerouting the World’s Oil Tankers: Report


It’s not yet clear to what extent China will curb shipments of Iranian crude due to US sanctions.

US President Donald Trump is redirecting global oil flows.

West African and Latin American producers are sending ever-growing volumes of crude to China. America’s exports to the Asian country have slumped in favor of its neighbors. There’s an urgent global need to find replacement barrels for Iran’s, whose exports might just collapse next month.

The thing that connects the shifting flows is Trump’s foreign policy. China’s slumping purchases of American crude — and its extra buying from elsewhere — have coincided with a trade war between the US and the Asian country. Likewise, reimposed sanctions on Iran, which start November 4, have increased the need for the type of heavy, sour crude that the Persian Gulf state sells.

“If you combine the impact of US sanctions on Iran and the US trade war with China, it is Trump’s foreign policy which is reshaping oil flows,” said Olivier Jakob, managing director of consultancy Petromatrix GmbH. “The US is becoming a great energy power and they will use that, we are starting to see the implementation of that in different parts of the energy scene, part of that is being seen today in the oil flows.”

Oil markets are also grappling with record US output, fueled by shale production, and America’s removal in late 2015 of longstanding crude-export limits. Those shipments — just a few hundred thousand barrels a day a few years ago — now consistently top an average of 2 million barrels a day each month. American crude increasingly flows to markets in Asia, Europe and Latin America, data from the US Energy Information Administration show.

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Shifting Flows
But there have been recent changes in precisely where those barrels are going. China, the world’s largest energy consumer, in August didn’t import any US crude for the first time since September 2016, according to the most recent data from the US Census Bureau. That compares with almost 12 million barrels in July, when China was the second-largest recipient.

Shipments to South Korea soared to a record 267,000 barrels a day in August — a 313 per cent year-on-year increase, according to Bloomberg calculations from Census data. Volumes to Japan and India rose by 198 per cent and 165 per cent, respectively. Exports to the UK, Italy and the Netherlands have also surged this year.

“The pattern of trade does look as though it’s going to ebb away from a focus on China to other Asian countries, and Europe,” said Caroline Bain, chief commodities economist at Capital Economics.

China is also increasingly turning to other regions. Colombian exports to the Asian nation rose fivefold in September, while Brazilian shipments hit their highest level this year. Chinese refiners bought 1.71 million barrels of crude a day from West Africa for October loading, the most since at least August 2011.

Sanctions’ Effect
It’s not yet clear to what extent, if any, China will curb shipments of Iranian crude due to US sanctions. However, buyers in India, Japan and South Korea are reducing purchases from the Persian Gulf state. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said that the kingdom and other OPEC producers are making up for lost supply from Iran.

The demand for replacement crudes is apparent. Exports from Oman last month rose to their highest levels this year on healthy demand from China, Bloomberg tanker-tracking showed. Kuwait is directing more flows to Asia, while its shipments to the US by late September all but dried up — the first time that’s happened since the Gulf War of 1990-91.

The curbs on Iran are having an effect on oil prices, with global benchmark Brent trading now trading near its highest level in four years. Oman was the talk of one of the oil market’s biggest gatherings last month, as its crude surged past $90 a barrel. Supertankers, which often benefit when trade flows are dislocated, are earning the most since early 2017.

Flows from Iran could drop by 2 million barrels a day, to below 1 million barrels day in November and possibly December, Energy Aspects Ltd. said in a report dated October 1.

Whether it’s the need he’s created for replacement supplies from Iran, or other actions by the US, president Trump’s policies are now having a direct impact on where oil is flowing, said Eugene Lindell, an analyst at JBC Energy GmbH in Vienna.

“What you can say beyond doubt is that it’s creating lots of exotic trade flows that hadn’t been in the market before,” he said. “It’s been a major influence that has forced a change in trade flows.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Donald Trump Says Will Take Care Of Countries That Don’t Stop Importing Iran Oil: Trump


In May, Donald Trump pulled the US out of the 2015 nuclear accord.

Washington: 

The US “will take care” of countries which defy its directive to stop importing oil from Iran by November 4, President Donald Trump has warned, days after India announced that two of its firms have placed orders to import crude from the Gulf nation. 

In May, Donald Trump pulled the US out of the 2015 nuclear accord, saying it had “failed to achieve the fundamental objective of blocking all paths to an Iranian nuclear bomb” and did not deal with Tehran’s “malign activities, including its ballistic missile programme and its support for terrorism”.

In an attempt to compel Iran to agree to a new accord, Trump reinstated sanctions that targeted the Iranian government’s purchase of US dollars, Iran’s trade in gold and other precious metals, and its automotive sector.

On November 4, a second batch of potentially more damaging sanctions will be re-imposed on Iran’s oil and shipping sectors as well as its central bank. The US has asked buyers of Iranian oil to cut imports to zero starting in November.

“We will take care of them,” Trump told reporters when asked about the decision of some countries like India and China to continue to purchase oil from Iran.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday said that two state refiners have placed orders for importing crude oil from Iran in November.

He had said that India has its own energy requirements which it has to fulfill.

Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) together have placed order for 1.25 million tonne (MT) of crude oil from Iran.

Iran is India’s third-largest oil supplier behind Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Of the 220.4 million metric tonnes (million MT) of crude oil imported by India in 2017-18, about 9.4 per cent, was from Iran.

China is Iran’s biggest oil customer and is opposed to any unilateral sanctions on the country.





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Rupee Fall Has A Surprising New Reason: Not Oil, But RBI


The worst run of rupee losses in 16 years is set to extend. Only this time, the declines might not be triggered by oil but by the surprise move by India’s central bank to hold rates despite the currency’s free fall.

The rupee, which has fallen for six straight months in the longest stretch since 2002, is seen sliding to 75 per dollar by year-end, according to median of 10 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The December-end estimate has inched up from 69 at the start of September.

Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel‘s comments Friday that the rupee’s drop is moderate in comparison to emerging market peers and that the central bank doesn’t have any target in mind unnerved investors who were expecting the authority to boost its defense of Asia’s worst-performing major currency. The rupee fell 0.4 percent on Tuesday to a record low of 74.3950 per dollar.

“Governor Patel has effectively left the rupee out in the cold and insinuated that it is not his job to determine the appropriate level for the currency,” said Charlie Lay, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Singapore. “RBI has seemingly opened the floodgates for further rupee weakness.”

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The rupee fell past the 74 to a dollar mark for the first time soon after the RBI’s decision, and analysts, whose year-end estimates have been obliterated by the meltdown, cut their targets further. Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB said the rupee could test 75 in the near term while ING Bank NV said the bank’s recent downgrade to 75 wasn’t enough.

To be sure, the RBI has for long maintained that it steps in only to curb undue volatility and doesn’t target any currency level. That stance places the authority behind counterparts in Indonesia and the Philippines, which have been actively supporting their currencies, Madhavi Arora, an economist at Edelweiss Securities Ltd., wrote in a note Tuesday.

“We expect the weakness to persist, with the rupee heading toward 75-plus levels against the dollar, unless some additional assertive policy steps come through,” she said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Explosion And Fire Reported At Canada’s Largest Oil Refinery


The company confirmed on Twitter that a “major incident” occurred at the refinery.

Montreal: 

An explosion and fire ripped through Canada’s largest refinery Monday in what the company that owns it called a “major incident.”

It was not known if there were casualties from the blast and fire at the Irving Oil refinery in St. John’s, New Brunswick.

Images posted on social media networks showed intermittent flames and a column of black smoke rising from the refinery, the country’s largest with a production capacity of 300,00 barrels of refined products a day.

Rob Beebe, who lives near the refinery, told Radio Canada he felt his house shake, followed by a blast.

The company confirmed on Twitter that a “major incident” occurred at the refinery.

“We are actively assessing the situation at this time and will share more information when available,” it said.





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50 Killed, 100 Burnt In Oil Tanker Road Crash In Dr Congo, Says Official


A 100 people have suffered second degree burns: Top offficial Kongo Central region (Representational)

Kinshasa, DR Congo: 

About 50 people died and 100 were burnt on Saturday after an oil tanker collided with a vehicle on an arterial highway in the west of DR Congo, the acting governor of the region said.

“We have about 50 dead and a 100 people have suffered second degree burns,” said Atou Matabuana, the interim governor of Kongo Central region, according to the actualite.cd website.

The accident occurred on a highway linking the capital Kinshasa to the country’s sole port at Matadi on the Atlantic Ocean.

It took place near the city of Kisantu, about 120 kilometres (100 miles) west of Kinshasa. The UN’s Okapi radio said “the flames spread rapidly engulfing nearby houses.”

Overloaded trucks carrying goods as well as oil tankers regularly ply this highway. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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United States Actively Considering Waivers On Iran Oil Sanctions


US plans to impose new sanctions on Iran oil sector on November 4.

WASHINGTON: 

The United States is actively considering sanctions waivers for countries that are reducing their imports of Iranian oil, a U.S. government official said on Friday.

The Trump administration withdrew from a deal over Tehran’s nuclear programme in May and is unilaterally reimposing sanctions on Iran’s crude oil consumers on Nov. 4. The sanctions aim to force Tehran to stop its involvement in conflicts in Syria and Iraq and halt its ballistic missile programme. Iran says it has abided by the 2015 nuclear deal, which was struck with five other world powers, besides the United States.

The administration is “in the midst of an internal process” of considering exceptions called SRE waivers, or significant reduction exemptions, said a government official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Its goal is to get oil imports by Iran’s customers to zero, ideally by Nov. 4 but the administration is “prepared to work with countries that are reducing their imports on a case-by-case basis,” the official said.

The official’s comments followed news that India, Iran’s No. 2 oil customer after China, will buy 9 million barrels of Iranian oil in November. It was an indication that India will continue purchasing crude from Iran, despite the Trump administration’s push to get countries to stop their purchases.

© Thomson Reuters 2018





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Going Extra Length To Find Substitute For Iranian Oil For Countries Like India: White House


US said any country continuing to do business with Iran will be blocked from the US banking system

Washington: 

The United States is going an extra length for countries like India and Iraq to find substitute for Iranian oil, the White House said.

The White House said on Thursday as it reiterated its warning to all purchaser of Iranian oil to bring it down to zero by November 4 or face imminent sanctions from the United States.

“I’ve had conversations (with Indian officials on purchase of Iranian oil). Others in the administration have had conversations with senior Indian officials,” the US National Security Advisor John Bolton told reporters at a White House news conference.

Mr Bolton who last month met his Indian counterpart Ajit K Doval in Washington, a week after the two-plus-two dialogue in New Delhi, said the Trump Administration has made its views clear to Indians on Iran.

“One of the things I think that’s important, whether it’s for Iraq or India or anyone else — particularly that’s been a purchaser of Iranian oil — we’ve gone to really extra lengths to try and find substitute sellers of oil so that there would be alternative supplies at market rates,” Mr Bolton said.

“That will help. This is something, obviously, the Obama administration wasn’t doing at all. And I think this will help toward our effort of persuading companies and governments, particularly in Asia, that there are alternatives to Iran that they can pursue,” he said in response to a question.

According to Mr Bolton, as the second wave of sanctions come back onto Iran on November 4, the objective of the Trump administration is to put maximum pressure on the government in Tehran.

“It’s our objective that there be no waivers from the sanctions, that exports of Iranian oil and gas drop to zero,” he said.

“I’m not saying we’re necessarily going to achieve that, but nobody should be operating under any illusions, what the objective is. You can look at the possibility of reductions leading to zero. It doesn’t have to happen immediately, perhaps,” he said in a tacit acknowledgement that countries like India might not be able to bring down their oil purchase from Iran to zero.

“But ‘this is not the Obama administration,’ would be my message not just to Iraq but to everybody else. And the frequency and the ease of getting waivers and exemptions is not going to be our policy,” he warned in a message to the international community not to take the American threat not seriously.

“I might say, also, that we’re not going to stop with the resumption of the sanctions that existed pre-2015. We’re looking at others that we can impose as well,” Mr Bolton said.
 





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US Oil Exports Fall As India Turns To Iran Ahead Of Sanctions


HOUSTON: 

Indian buyers reduced U.S. crude purchases and loaded up on Iranian oil ahead of the restart of U.S. sanctions next month and as the WTI-Brent differential narrowed, according to traders and shipping intelligence firm Kpler.

U.S. oil shipments to India fell to 84,000 barrels per day (bpd) last month, down 75 percent from a record high of 347,000 bpd in June, Kpler data showed. India accounted for 12 percent of U.S. crude exports in June.

Last month, Indian buyers lifted purchases of Iranian crude to 502,000 bpd, up 111,000 bpd over August, in “a last gasp” of purchases “before sanctions actually hit,” a U.S.-based trader said, adding that those additional barrels displaced U.S. crude.

Overall U.S. exports also fell 917,000 bpd to 1.7 million bpd in the last week of September, according to the Energy Information Administration, as a stronger U.S. dollar and Brent’s premium to WTI fell, making U.S. crude less affordable.

India, which has become a key Asian destination for U.S. crude this year, has been one of the top two buyers of Iranian crude. However, the country’s refiners since June have cut purchases of Iranian crude ahead of U.S. sanctions.

U.S. exports to all Asian countries fell 73,000 bpd to 427,000 bpd last week, while U.S. shipments to Europe dropped 102,000 bpd to 543,000 bpd, Kpler data showed.

Iran’s crude exports to China also increased by 29,000 bpd to 620,000 bpd, according to Kpler, as China cut its U.S. purchases amid an ongoing trade spat with the United States.

© Thomson Reuters 2018





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