Saudi Arabia has cut prices for most grades of oil for Asian buyers, prompting at least three buyers to purchase extra Saudi crude, Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources.
Buyers, according to the sources, turned to Saudi Arabia's state-run energy company Aramco for extra supplies for the month of October amid fears that US sanctions on Iranian crude exports, expected to go into effect November 4, may cause shortages during the winter season.
After its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May, the United States threatened to cut Iran's oil exports "to zero" and demanded that other countries reduce their imports of Iranian crude accordingly.
Although some Asian countries, including Washington's Japanese and South Korean allies, have caved in to US pressure and are preparing to halt their imports of Iranian oil, others, including India and China, have defended their agreements with the Islamic Republic and searched for ways to bypass US restrictions. Some European importers have done the same.
Last month, the International Energy Agency, a global energy watchdog, warned that maintaining global supplies may prove "very challenging" once US sanctions step into effect in November, particularly if combined with production problems in some other country.
On Monday, US Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry met with his Saudi counterpart, Khalid al-Falih, in Washington to discuss the state of global oil markets, the department said in a statement.
Defiant Iranian officials have insisted that the sanctions policy of "the anti-Iranian officials in the White House" would fail and warned that Tehran would accelerate the country's nuclear program if the JCPOA collapses.