July 13, 2012 13:20
The government is likely to resume imports of Iranian oil, which have been halted since July 1 due to EU sanctions on insurance for carrying it, now Tehran has offered to ship it using its own tankers. This will help stabilize the supply of fuel and trade of some 2,900 exporters here.
A high-ranking government official on Thursday said Iran made the offer immediately after Korea stopped importing oil from the Middle Eastern country. "After negotiations with relevant government bodies, we tentatively decided to accept this offer."
Tehran apparently offered US$1 billion-worth of insurance on its own fuel carrier. European insurance companies dominate the marine insurance sector, and without marine insurance oil carriers cannot enter the destination port.
A government official said, "There is no problem under Korean law as long as an oil carrier has been insured for up to US$130 million."
Iran produces 2.8 million barrels of crude oil per day and has been hit hard by the EU sanctions.
The government sent officials to Iran recently to confirm the offer and has informed the U.S. of the decision. Washington implements its own financial sanctions on countries that import Iranian oil but has exempted Korea in return for a pledge to reduce imports by 10 percent.
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