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The U.S. is prepared to work with countries on a case-by-case basis in their reduction of oil purchases from Iran, a U.S. State Department official told reporters on Thursday. "Our focus is to work with those countries importing Iranian crude oil to get as many of them as possible down to zero by November 4," a State Department official said, adding that "we are prepared to work with countries that are reducing their imports on a case by case basis." The comments seemed to suggest the possibility of waivers. Senior Trump administration officials visited European countries this week, and will head to the Middle East and Asia later, to pressure buyers to reduce their oil purchases from Iran.

India's oil ministry has told the country’s refineries to prepare for a 'drastic reduction or zero' imports of Iranian oil from November, Reuters reported on Thursday citing 2 industry sources. India’s official position is that it does not recognise unilateral sanctions imposed by the U.S. on Iran, and instead follows the decision of the United Nations. However, the industry sources said that India – the 2nd-largest buyer of Iranian oil (behind China) – will be forced to take action to protect its exposure to the U.S. financial system. India's oil ministry held a meeting with refiners on Thursday, urging them to scout for alternatives to Iranian oil. "(India) has asked refiners to be prepared for any eventuality, since the situation is still evolving.

In Libya, officials at the Zueitina oil port have stopped a tanker contracted by the Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation (NOC) from docking, heightening the uncertainty for international buyers of Libyan oil. Zueitina and Hariga are amongst the oil ports that the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA) said it would hand over to a parallel NOC, which is based in the eastern city of Benghazi.

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