| NEW DELHI
NEW DELHI India's oil imports from Iran fell 19 percent in November from a record high the previous month after regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iraq raised sales to the world's third-biggest oil consumer, regaining their positions as the top two suppliers.
Shipments from Tehran, Western sanctions against which were lifted earlier this year, were about 620,000 barrels per day (bpd) oil in November, according to ship tracking data and a report compiled by Thomson Reuters Oil Research and Forecasts. That was down from 765,500 bpd in October, but well above 138,100 bpd in November 2016.
The November drop came before OPEC members and other global producers agreed to cut output in a bid to bolster weak oil prices. Iran, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), had been initially hesitant to cut production, but as Saudi Arabia - OPEC's largest producer - agreed to bear the lion's share of reductions, the landmark deal was agreed at the end of last month.
Supplies from Iran to India more than doubled in January-November to 468,900 bpd from 205,900 bpd in the same period last year, the data showed.
Overall, India imported an average 4.28 million bpd of crude in the January-November period of 2016, up 7.6 percent from 3.98 million bpd a year ago.
India's average Iranian oil imports in April-November - the first eight months of India's financial year - rose 126 percent to 532,100 bpd, the data showed. Tehran's share in overall purchases jumped to 12.5 percent from 5.9 percent.
(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)