India is in negotiations with the U.S. government to continue buying Iranian crude oil at the current level of about 300,000 barrels per day, Reuters reported March 7, citing two Indian sources.
The Trump administration re-imposed sanctions on Iran in November 2018 after quitting the 2015 Iran nuclear pact but granted waivers to some of Iran's largest customers — China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece — that allow them to continue buying limited quantities as they wind their purchases down to zero. The first round of waivers expires around May 4.
U.S. State Department spokesman Vincent Campos told Reuters, "we continue to have bilateral discussions" with the countries that were granted waivers, but would not confirm India sought a waiver extension.
The reported negotiations come after the State Bank of India said it would stop handling payments for Iranian crude oil purchases, and India-based Reliance Industries Ltd., the owner of the world's largest refinery, said it would stop purchasing crude oil from Iran.
Iran's oil minister said Feb. 5 Italy and Greece are no longer purchasing Iranian crude oil despite having obtained sanctions waivers.