South Korea and India are counting on an imminent termination of sanctions on Iran to resume oil imports.
‘If the sanctions on Iran are lifted, refiners expect to hike their Iranian crude imports to the level seen before the sanctions,’ South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said on Wednesday.
South Korea is currently one of Iran’s major oil customers, taking advantage of the nuclear deal which allows purchase of about 1 million bpd oil from Iran.
Iran has prepared its oil extraction facilities and export terminals for immediate ramp-up of recovery by 500,000 bpd intended for shipment to the market when the sanctions are lifted.
South Korean import of Iranian crude fell nearly 30 percent in November from a year ago, with imports in the first eleven months of 2015 falling 0.8 percent to meet sanctions requirements, according to Reuters.
Iran’s oil production is already mounting as international buyers are boosting purchases. Exports are set to rise to a six-month high of 1.26 million bpd in December, according to tanker loading schedules.
Iran has already secured customers for its planned supply expansion, Deputy Oil Minister for Commerce and International Affairs Hossein Zamaninia said last week.
On Monday, Indian refiners were reported to be discussing possible rise in oil imports from Iran, Press TV said.
The Indians demanded price discounts and incentives as they met International Affairs Director of the National Iranian Oil Company Mohsen Qamsari in New Delhi.
The Iranian official was reported to be willing to consider the proposals from the refiners, including those which halted imports due to sanctions.
Iran currently offers 90-day credit free shipping and some discounts on crude prices to India which is the second biggest customer for Iranian crude. However, officials in Tehran have said the framework will change when sanctions are lifted.