A month after granting waivers to India and seven other countries from sanctions on Iran oil exports, a top US official said that the waivers would be reviewed after six months.
“We thank India for joining the US in its goal of restricting the export of Iranian oil," said Mark W Menezes, principal advisor to the Trump administration on Energy Policy. "All waivers granted are unique to each country. We will review in six months. We will then make a decision based on facts and circumstances. Our goal remains zero export of Iranian oil and we are absolutely clear about that.”
Menezes added that US shares India’s concern on fuel prices and oil prices had actually come down as the US has become a net exporter for the first time.
The US government’s top energy official was in Delhi for a crucial meeting of the Indo-US task force on natural gas which was setup in April this year.
India would have imported $4 billion worth of oil and gas from the US by the end of 2018. The US would like to increase oil exports to India in the coming year and it would like to double the amount of oil available for exports, Menezes said.
The US companies are producing anything between 11.7-12 million barrels per day and that has made them the leading producers of oil and natural gas. “Growth for energy demand is coming from India because of its commitment to make energy more affordable to its citizens. For all energy companies, India is the destination and prices will have to be competitive”, said Menezes.
The US under secretary for energy also urged OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) to realise that cutting down on production would mean a loss of revenue. OPEC and Russia feel it is necessary to cut production to stabilise oil prices.
“You are seeing this reaction from OPEC and Russia as the US has become a competitor to them. We see this as a positive move. Our allies no longer have to be held hostage to OPEC contracts. We can offer our partners energy on terms they can understand,” he said.
On bottlenecks in the implementation of the Indo-US nuke deal, Menezes said both sides were committed to discussing the enabling works agreement. “Reactor-maker Westinghouse Electric has worked very hard on the design and evaluation of sites. It is on good solid footing and we are optimistic we will see our path through on this,” Menezes said.