The latest official figures show that South Korea almost doubled its imports of crude oil from Iran in August compared to the same period last year. South Korean customs data showed that the country’s imports of crude oil from Iran in August stood at 1.1 million tons of, or 260,770 barrels per day (bpd), Reuters reported.
The volume of imports over the same period last year – when sanctions against Tehran were still in place – stood at 552,710 tons.
South Korea, the world's No. 5 crude importer, brought in 8.33 million tons of Iranian crude in the first eight months of 2016, or 250,160 bpd. The figure shows a whopping rise of 120 percent compared to the same period last year where the country’s oil imports from Iran stood at 3.78 million ton.
In mid-January, a series of economic sanctions that had been imposed on Iran for multiple years were removed after a deal between the country and the P5+1 – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany – was implemented.
The sanctions barred foreign investments in the Iranian oil industry and also imposed a low ceiling of 1 million bpd (mb/d) on the country’s oil exports.
After the removal of the sanctions, Iran stepped up its production of oil and its exports accordingly surged.
In early June, Reuters reported that Iran’s oil exports were close to pre-sanctions level of 2.5 mb/d, stressing that it had been able to improve its exports capabilities at a much faster pace than anticipated.