South Korea resumed the import of Iranian oil this month, using Iranian insurance companies to cover the shipments.
Reuters reports that according to statistics published by South Korean sources, Korea’s oil imports declined in September by 2.8 percent, compared to the same time last year.
South Korea, the world’s fifth-largest oil importer, resumed oil imports from Iran this month after a two-month hiatus. EU sanctions have barred European insurance companies from extending their services to Iranian oil shipments, which forced South Korea to stop buying Iranian oil.
South Korea will receive 6 million barrels per month from Iran, which according to Reuters is a return to full-contract volumes.
Reuters quotes a South Korean official saying that it has managed a reduction of more than 20 percent in its oil imports from Iran, which should exempt South Korea from U.S. sanctions.
“The cut in our Iranian crude oil imports this year is expected to be much larger than the 20-percent level targeted to ensure we received a U.S. sanction waiver earlier this year,” the unidentified source told Reuters.
The United States has imposed sanctions on any company or country that has refused to reduce its oil dealings with Iran.