S Korea firms in talks to resume Iran oil imports
S KOREA: South Korean oil refiners are in talks with Iran to
resume oil imports, officials said Thursday, potentially by using
Iranian tankers as a way to circumvent European Union sanctions.
Talks are currently underway with Tehran, officials of Hyundai
Oilbank, SK Energy and Seoul's knowledge economy ministry said.
Imports stopped entirely in July when an EU oil embargo on Iran over
its nuclear programme took effect, banning European firms from insuring
Iranian oil shipments.
South Korea had relied entirely on European firms for such coverage
but a Hyundai Oilbank spokeswoman told AFP: “We are still hammering out
details before finalising the deal... in a way to let Iran to take
responsibility for oil tanker insurance.”
A spokesman for SK Energy, the other South Korean refiner which
previously bought Iranian oil, confirmed the ongoing talks but refused
The South bought 9.4 percent of its crude oil from Iran last year.
It had been sharply reducing purchases this year in return for a
waiver from separate US sanctions on Tehran.