Iranian crude oil imports in February more than quadrupled from January volumes of 227,941 tons, Reuters reported.
South Korea is among eight countries that in November received six-month waivers from US sanctions, allowing it to import a limited volume of Iranian oil products.
In the first two months of 2019, South Korea brought in 1.21 million tons of Iranian oil, or 149,890 bpd, down 41.6 percent from 2.07 million tons over the same period last year, according to the data.
Overall shipments into the world’s fifth-largest crude importer totaled 13.14 million tons in February, or 3.43 mbd. That was up 4.7 percent from 12.55 million tons last year.
Oil imports from Saudi Arabia, South Korea’s top crude oil supplier, decreased 3.5 percent to 3.96 million tons in February, from 4.13 million tons last year.
The country’s overall crude imports in January and February edged down 0.7 percent year-on-year to 25.60 million tons, the data showed.
Final crude oil import data will be released later this month by state-run Korea National Oil Corp. (KNOC).
Reuters quoted industry sources as saying on Thursday that Indian state refiners will lift 8 million barrels of Iranian oil in April.
India has been allowed by Washington to continue to buy about 300,000 bpd of oil, or nine million barrels per month, until early May.
The United States will likely renew waivers to sanctions for most countries buying Iranian crude, including the biggest buyers China and India.
For March, Indian Oil Corporation had placed an order for five million barrels of Iranian crude, Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. for two million, and Hindustan Petroleum Corp. and Bharat Petroleum Corp., for one million each.
In April, IOC would lift four million barrels, while there is no change in volume to be loaded by other companies, the sources said.