Seoul to up Iran condensate imports

Traders say they expect South Korea to step up purchases of the ultra light oil from Iran by more than 50 percent in June. 

While South Korea does not provide separate data on imports of condensate, traders have been quoted by Reuters as saying that the expected June shipments from Iran of at least six million barrels, or 200,000 barrels a day, would be a record level.

Iranian condensate imports could gain further momentum in the fourth quarter, if Iran clinches a deal with Hyundai Chemical to supply the company’s new splitter, traders added.

Talks between Hyundai Chemical and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) on a term supply deal are under way, Reuters has quoted a third source familiar with the matter as saying.

South Korea, the world’s fifth-largest crude buyer, has more than doubled its oil imports from Iran in the first four months of this year to about 248,000 barrrels a day after Western sanctions on Iran were removed in January.

Iran has ramped up exports much faster than analysts had expected, using international tankers to help ship its oil.

Two South Korean buyers, refiners SK Energy and Hanwha Total Petrochemical Co, are set to lift at least six million barrels of Iranian South Pars condensate in June, up from about 3-4 million barrels in April and May, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.

A Hanwha spokesman said the refiner planned to import about 2 million barrels of Iranian condensate in June, as it was cheaper than oil from Qatar and the company wanted to diversify its sources of supply.

By Press TV