IRNA – South Korean oil buyers are expected to restart oil imports from Iran in late January or early February, the head of South Korea’s SK Innovation, which owns South Korea’s biggest oil refiner SK Energy, said on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
In November, South Korea won a six-month waiver from sanctions, imposed by the United States, allowing to purchase a limited amount of Iranian oil.
“As South Korea received a waiver and has been in talks with Iran about the first import volume, it seems (Iran oil) could be brought in late in January or early February at the earliest,” SK Innovation Chief Executive Officer and President Kim Jun told Reuters on the sidelines of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
South Korean and Japanese buyers were expected to restart Iranian oil imports early this year, industry sources said in November. South Korea can buy up to 200,000 barrels per day of Iran oil, mostly condensate, an ultra-light form of crude oil under the waiver, the sources said.
South Korea was the third-biggest buyer of Iranian oil and the largest importer of Iranian condensate before the US sanctions were reimposed in November.
Kim also said that SK Innovation, a supplier of electric vehicle (EV) batteries to Daimler and Volkswagen, may increase the investment into its US-based EV battery manufacturing business to $5 billion to secure more of the market.