S. Korea’s Oct. Iran Oil Imports Jump

S. Korea’s Oct. Iran Oil Imports JumpS. Korea’s Oct. Iran Oil Imports Jump

South Korea's crude oil shipments from Iran rose 83.4% in October from a year ago, helping the imports in the first 10 months of 2015 up 0.4%, although the 10-month purchase still met sanction requirements over Tehran's nuclear program.

The world's fifth-largest crude importer brought 519,620 tons of Iranian crude in October, or 122,865 barrels per day, compared with 283,287 tons a year ago, preliminary data from its customs office showed on Sunday, Reuters reported.

The Sunday customs data showed Seoul bought 5.10 million tons, or 123,056 bpd, of crude from Tehran in January-October, up 0.4% from 5.08 million tons in the same period in 2014 but still below last year's import average as the sanctions on Tehran restrict to import no higher than last year's levels.

South Korea's crude imports from Iran in 2014 were 6.2 million tons, or 124,497 bpd, but the lifting of oil and trade embargos against the Persian Gulf country will allow Seoul to ramp up the import of Iranian crude.

Iran and six world powers reached a historic deal on July 14 in Vienna that would limit Tehran's nuclear program in return for removing sanctions on its energy and financial industries.

Of the total four South Korean refiners, SK Energy Co Ltd and Hyundai Oilbank Co Ltd import oil from Iran. Their imports typically swing from month to month.

Overall, Seoul imported 11.18 million tons of crude last month, or 2.64 million bpd, up 12.1% from 9.98 million tons a year ago.

Final data for October imports with more detail will be available from state-run Korea National Oil Corp later this month.