Publication Date : Saturday 15 March 2014 17:05
South Korean oil imports from Iran climb 104% in February
South Korea’s crude oil imports from the Islamic Republic of Iran have increased by 104 percent in February from one year earlier, a new report says.
South Korea imported 1.1 million tons of Iranian crude last month, equivalent to 294,069 barrels per day. The figure was 4.5 times higher than January and more than double compared to last year, Reuters reported.
The report further noted that Iran's top four crude buyers - China, India, Japan and South Korea - bought 1.25 million bpd of crude from Tehran in January, with increases in China and India outweighing on-year reductions from Japan and South Korea.
Earlier this month, South Korea made a first payment of USD 550 million to Iran for oil imports following the partial easing of sanctions on Tehran in line with an interim nuclear agreement clinched with the six major world powers.
Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council -- the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China -- plus Germany signed the Geneva deal on November 24, 2013. The two sides started to implement the agreement on January 20.
Under the Geneva agreement, the six countries agreed to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Tehran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period. It was also agreed that no nuclear-related sanctions would be imposed on the country within the same time frame.
World oil giants, including Royal Dutch Shell, British Petroleum (BP), Malaysia’s Petronas, Spain’s Repsol, Russia’s second largest oil producer, Lukoil, France’s Total and Italy’s Eni, have shown interest in returning to Iran following the easing of sanctions against the Islamic Republic.