The United States is determined to push Iranian oil exports to zero, U.S. Special Representative Brian Hook said on Wednesday, through a "calibrated" approach using maximum economic pressure without lifting oil prices.
However, one source said the United States had attached strings to the waivers, including counterparty disclosures and laying open settlement methods, which were being evaluated before placing new orders with Iran.
To a question on the U.S. exemption from sanctions for Chabahar Port, Mr Kumar said: "We have taken note of the USA statement that exception has been provided under the Iran Freedom and Counter Proliferation Act of 2012 with respect to development of Chabahar Port and the construction of an associated railway line".
The decline in oil prices over the past weeks follows a rally between August and October when crude rose ahead of the re-introduction of sanctions against Iran's oil exports on November 5.
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In the week ending November, the US crude production hit a whopping 11.6 million bpd, according to Energy Information Administration (EIA) data released on Wednesday. Domestic production surged to a record 11.6 million barrels a day, while stockpiles at the key storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, climbed by 2.42 million barrels.
But a cascade of geopolitical events has blown up the oil world's harmony that sends 100 million barrels a day from the world's producers to thirsty consumers at a price that is satisfactory to both sides.
So the supply story is robust. The International Monetary Fund forecasts that the sanctions will cause Iran's economy to contract 1.5 per cent this year and 3.6 per cent next year - pain that Trump has boasted about.
South Korea is a large buyer of Iranian condensate, a super light form of crude oil, used by its large petrochemical industry. The key driver of this, in the short term, is the trade war between the United States and China.
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Brent crude prices fell over 14 percent this quarter, while US light crude oil futures slumped more than 20 percent since early October to enter a bear market.
That may led to crude stockpiles, as has been seen in the U.S., growing further.
The Saudis have, since the 1970s, been able to exert disproportionate influence on global oil prices by - along with other Opec producers - cutting production at various times.
The United States is now the world's biggest crude oil producer, pushing Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia to the back seat.
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That will have profound implications not just for oil prices but, ultimately, geopolitics.