Figures released by South Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy show oil imports from Iran from July to September stood at a total of 29.8 million barrels. This indicates an increase of 147.7 percent against the amount for the same period last year, The Korea Herald reported.
The comparable figure for the second quarter was 25.35 million barrels in the previous quarter — also up 123 percent, added the report.
Iran had been one of the biggest crude oil exporters to South Korea which imported crude worth $9.36 billion from Iran prior to the US-engineered sanctions against the Islamic Republic in 2011. The sanctions, which were in place until the end of 2015, cut imports of Iranian crude to $2.27 billion.
Following the removal of the sanctions in January, South Korea has been increasingly stepping up imports of crude oil from Iran "which is cheaper than that of other oil-rich countries", added the report.
Meanwhile, South Korea's overall oil imports increased 3.9 percent year-on-year to 270.4 million barrels during the three-month period on the back of low oil prices. This is while imports of oil-related products, such as liquefied petroleum gas, jumped 14.3 percent on-year to 88.7 million barrels in the third quarter, added the report.