Indian Oil Corp has bought 6 million barrels of US crude for delivery in November to January, a company official said, as the nation's top refiner scouts for alternatives to Iranian oil ahead of impending US sanctions. A.K. Sharma, Director of Finance, IOC, said this was the company's first purchase through a mini-term tender to buy US oil. IOC will buy 2 million barrels of Mars oil in November, a combination cargo containing 1 million barrels each of Eagle Ford and Mars in December and 2 million barrels of Louisiana Light Sweet (LLS) in January, Sharma said. India has asked refiners to prepare for a drastic cut or even zero imports from Iran after the United States withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and announced a renewal of sanctions on Tehran. While some sanctions started from August 6, others, most notably in the petroleum sector, will be applied from November 4. Lower purchases by Chinese buyers are also aiding the flow of US oil to India. China's Unipec has suspended US oil imports due to a growing trade spat between Washington and Beijing.