Both South Korea and China disregard US oil sanctions on Iran
South Korea has announced that it will buy around 10 percent of its needed crude from Iran in 2012, which will be slightly higher than last year. Meanwhile, China also defies US sanctions, stating it will resume its normal trade with Iran.
January 4, 2011
Seoul’s demand for more Iranian oil follows the approval of a new act by the US Senate for imposing tougher sanctions on Iran’s financial and energy sectors.
Ignoring the sanctions, South Korea, which is the world’s fifth largest oil importer, is planning to buy 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian crude this year, a little more than the 190,000 bpd in 2011.
According to Reuters, South Korean authorities are going to meet with US officials to lobby for an exemption to US sanctions which will enable the country to buy and pay for Iran’s oil.
SK Energy Company will buy the additional amount of Iran’s crude by increasing its Iran oil import 10,000 bpd compared to last year’s figure.
Hyundai Oilbank, the only other South Korean refiner that buys Iranian crude, will import 70,000 bpd in 2012, unchanged from 2011, a Hyundai spokesman said on Wednesday. He added that Hyundai is also making contingency plans for any disruption in oil flow.
“We are planning for various scenarios, including diversifying supply lines, if the situation changes,” the spokesman said.
On Saturday, US President Barack Obama signed into law fresh economic sanctions against Iran’s Central Bank in an apparent bid to punish foreign companies and banks that do business with the Iranian financial institution.
The bill aims to prevent refiners across the world from paying for Iran’s oil, while the European Union is considering measures that would ban its member states from importing the crude.