Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday two leading oil companies of the country have placed orders to import Iranian crude next month in spite of the USA sanctions.
India would lift 9 million barrels of Iranian oil in November, equivalent to about 300,0000 barrels per day.
A vessel carrying 2 million barrels of Iranian oil was reported on Tuesday to have discharged the crude into a bonded storage tank at the port of Dalian in northeast China.
Oil dropped below $83 a barrel on Monday, pressured by expectations that some Iranian oil exports will keep flowing after the USA reimposes sanctions, easing a strain on supplies. Pradhan said India has its own energy requirements which need to be fulfilled.
Iran is streamlining its oil export modalities and testing creative ways to thwart new USA sanctions which are to kick in on November 4.
"The US government's tough stance raised the stakes for a more significant Iran export loss than previously foreseen", said Norbert Ruecker, head of macro and commodity research at Swiss bank Julius Baer.
Pradhan said that while speaking to Saudi Arabia's energy minister Khalid A. Al-Falih two days ago he had reminded him of Opec's June decision and added that perhaps the increase in oil productions had not taken place.
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India, Iran's top client after China, has close diplomatic ties with Iran, where it is building a strategic port called Chabahar that is expected to be operational by 2019.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that Iran's economy fell into a recession this year that will get worse next year as a result of renewed USA sanctions on Tehran.
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.
White House National Security Advisor John Bolton said only last week that the administration wanted to avoid all waivers and see Iranian oil and gas exports entirely staunched, but that it might not be able to achieve that aim.
Brent crude prices are now hovering around US$86 a barrel and global traders are betting that they will go past US$100.
Iran's economy is now forecast to contract this year and especially in 2019, by 3.6 percent, "on account of reduced oil production, before returning to modest positive growth in 2020-23", according to the International Monetary Fund.
On Monday, petrol and diesel were selling at Rs 82.03 per litre and Rs 73.82 per litre, respectively, in New Delhi.