Taiwan Increasing Oil Imports

Taiwan Increasing Oil ImportsTaiwan Increasing Oil Imports

Taiwan's refiners will increase crude imports from Iran this year, company spokesman said, paving the way for the sanctions-hit OPEC producer to regain its market share in Asia.

The companies are likely to be among the first in Asia to restart trade relations with Iran after the lifting of international sanctions, Trade Arabia reported. Refiners CPC and Formosa Petrochemical will resume imports, bringing them back to contractual volumes that had been previously agreed with the National Iranian Oil Company, the spokesmen said.

"We will purchase 2 million barrels of crude oil from Iran at the end of March or early April," CPC's spokesman, Ray-Chung Chang, told the news agency.

"It will be the first Iranian cargo for us this year."

Formosa Petrochemical spokesman, KY Lin, said the company was waiting for a green light from local authorities, but that it did not expect any restrictions on Iranian crude imports.

"We have already agreed with NIOC on a volume late last year in anticipation of the lifting of the sanctions," he said.

"It's a continuation of our contract."

Prior to the sanctions, Taiwan imported close to 60,000 barrels per day of Iranian crude in 2010, but the volume dwindled to an all-time low of 3,600 bpd in 2014.

Last year, the two Taiwanese refiners imported just 2 million barrels each, customs data showed.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman are the top three crude suppliers to Taiwan.