News ID: 127253
Published: 0737 GMT September 19, 2015

Seoul to raise Iran oil, condensate inflows

Seoul to raise Iran oil, condensate inflows

A South Korean official said his country is preparing for increased inflows of crude oil and condensates from Iran as soon as the sanctions are lifted.

Vice Minister at South Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy Jae-do Moon's comments follow a visit by a senior South Korean political and economic delegation to Tehran last month to seek new business prospects between the two countries.

"Just like many other foreign companies, South Korean companies are also preparing for the removal of Iranian sanctions, while seeking more business opportunity with Iran," he told Platts.

According to the state-owned Korea National Oil Corp, South Korea imported 111,665 barrels per day of Iranian crude oil in the first seven months of the year — down 11 percent from a year ago.

Moon said his country was open to buying additional volumes of oil from Iran.

"Because Korean companies used to trade with Iran for a certain amount before, once the trade is normalized at the company level, there could be room for improvement," he said.

"South Korea could also be looking at more Iranian condensates because of a steady increase of condensate splitters," reported Platts quoting Moon.

"In order to ensure a stable supply of condensates, Korean refineries are paying greater attention to US condensates, as well as looking at Iranian condensates once the sanctions are lifted," he said.

He made the remarks on the sidelines of an LNG conference in Tokyo where ministers and business delegates from about 50 countries and regions gathered to discuss further development of the liquefied natural gas market.

A delegation of 30 representatives of oil, gas and construction industries led by South Korean Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Yoo Il-ho visited Tehran last month.

They met Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh who said South Korea had agreed to raise oil imports following the lifting of sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

"Before the sanctions, South Korea purchased 180,000 barrels per day of oil from Iran. This figure is currently a little more than 100,000 barrels," Zanganeh said.

For energy cooperation, the two countries can cooperate on crude oil recovery and investment in LNG and petrochemical projects, he said.

   
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