India Increases Iran Oil Imports

India Increases Iran Oil ImportsIndia Increases Iran Oil Imports

Unlike South Korea whose oil import from Iran saw a decrease, according to a report released by the Indian Customs Administration on oil trade, India's oil import from Iran rose 17.5 percent in April.  India is Iran's second largest customer after China, ILNA news agency reported.

Due to major overhaul of refineries, India's overall oil import experienced an 11.5 percent decline in April 2015 on the corresponding period last year. Eighty percent of that country's oil need is supplied by the Middle East states. Reportedly, India is the fourth largest consumer of oil in the world whose purchase from Africa and Latin America ramped up in April 2015.

US shale oil production growth has paved the way for Africa and Latin America to supply Asian countries with crude, resulting in India's reluctance in buying oil from the troubled Middle East region. Saudi Arabia was still the biggest exporter to India in April, yet Venezuela was replaced by Kuwait in the third place.

On the other hand, according to a report released by the Korean Customs Administration on oil trade, South Korea's oil import from Iran declined by 6.5 percent in April compared to the corresponding period last year.

Experts opine that South Korea curbed its import to comply with the international sanctions imposed on Iran. Reportedly, Iran's export to the fourth largest economy in Asia has plummeted from 134,000 barrel per day (bpd) in 2013 to 123,000 bpd in 2014, and is still dwindling.

Out of four refineries in South Korea namely SK Energy, GS Caltex, S-Oil and Hyundai Oilbank, just two, "SK Energy" and "Hyundai Oilbank" import oil from Iran every other month.  SK Energy is the energy and chemical affiliate of South Korea's SK Group.

Korea’s largest oil refiner (1.1 million barrels of daily refining capacity), SK Energy controls about 35% of Korea's fuel retailing market and operates 4,270 service stations. The firm is involved in oil exploration and production in 15 countries and has proven reserves of 500 million barrels of oil equivalent. 

Hyundai Oilbank is a petroleum and refinery company with its headquarters in Seosan, South Korea. It was established in 1964 as Keukdong Refinery Co., Ltd.  and later taken over by the Hyundai Group (1993). It is currently a part of the Hyundai Heavy Industries Group.