Bloomberg: South Korea’s government is closely monitoring crude imports from Iran amid concern that new U.S. sanctions against the Middle East country may cause a surge in global and local oil prices.
By Sangim Han
South Korea’s government is closely monitoring crude imports from Iran amid concern that new U.S. sanctions against the Middle East country may cause a surge in global and local oil prices.
South Korea will reinforce diplomatic efforts to minimize a reduction of crude purchases from Iran, and plans to look for alternative suppliers to secure a stable supply of oil, according to a joint statement from the finance, energy and other ministries.
Iran is South Korea’s fifth-largest supplier (SKIMCRIR) of crude, and accounted for 9.4 percent of its overall imports in 2011, according to the statement. The nation depends entirely on overseas purchases for oil.
“We are already participating in sanctions” concerning the purchase of petrochemical products, South Korean foreign minister Kim Sung Hwan told reporters in Seoul. Asked for Korea’s response to the European Union’s steps toward halting oil purchases from Iran, he said the government is “consulting with related ministries” to map out measures concerning crude imports.
South Korea announced Dec. 16 that it will expand sanctions against Iran and cautioned companies against importing petrochemicals. Crude oil shipments are not affected by the Dec. 16 curbs on transactions with Iran.