USA challenges International Court of Justice ruling on Iran sanctions regime

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In its latest review last month, the Energy Regulatory Commission lowered oil prices on the backdrop of a 1.6 per cent fall in the average cost of Brent crude oil to $75.05 per barrel in August from $76.3 in July.

India will buy 9 million barrels of Iranian oil in November, two industry sources said, indicating the world's third-biggest oil importer will continue purchasing crude from the Islamic republic despite US sanctions coming into force on Nov. 4.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for November delivery on Friday rose to US$74.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

US sanctions against Tehran are widely expected to have an immediate impact on Iran's oil exports, although the estimates of exactly how much of the country's oil could disappear from November 4 vary widely.

Oil has been supported by concern that the Iranian export loss will leave a thinner margin of unused production capacity to deal with supply shocks.

"Russia is not really interested in incredibly high oil prices, we actually feel that the current level is even (too) high and maybe should be a little bit lower", Kirill Dmitriev, the chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) told CNBC's Geoff Cutmore in Moscow on Wednesday. Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage Oanda in Singapore, said there was also "chatter that Saudi Arabia has replaced all of Iran's lost oil".

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He put the country's oil exports volume at 2.8 million oil barrels per day (bpd) and reiterated that OPEC and non-OPEC member states can not make up for Iran's huge oil production volume in the worldwide markets.

Two domestic companies have placed orders to buy Iranian oil in November, oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday, adding that the government does not yet know if it will be granted a waiver from USA sanctions on Iran.

"This is one of the single biggest supportive factors for crude", said analysts at JBC Energy of the U.S.re-imposition of Iran sanctions.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Wednesday the termination of the USA and Iran's 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Consular Rights following Iran's use of the document as justification to take the U.S.to the United Nations' International Court of Justice (ICJ) over sanctions imposed by the Trump administration. However, the bulls are also keeping an eye on the potential spare capacity constraints and the slowdown in USA drilling.

Oil prices are up on the week overall despite a large build in crude oil prices. This means that any supply disruption can send prices soaring again as well as Asia's strong demand.

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