The Korea Herald


SK Energy to import 1m barrels of US crude

By Shim Woo-hyun

Published : Aug. 9, 2017 - 17:52

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Korea’s top refining company SK Energy has signed a deal to import US crude oil in an attempt to seek better profits on the back of recent price hikes in crude from the Middle East.

A shipment of 1 million barrels of US West Texas Intermediate is expected to arrive at the company’s refining facility in Ulsan in mid-October, the company said.

(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

SK Energy’s order came as the prices of Middle East crude started to increase after OPEC decided to cut its output through March next year to prop up prices.

US light crude oil has become economically viable compared with the past, the company’s spokesperson said, adding that it will continue to diversify import sources to increase profits.

SK Energy recently decided to import another set of 1 million barrels of Mexico’s Isthmus crude. The shipment will also arrive at Ulsan in October this year, according to the company. The imports from Mexico are coming together with the imports from the US.

Korea’s top refiner received a total of 2 million barrels of Kazakhstan CPC crude between late July and early August.

Meanwhile, other major Korean refiners, such as GS Caltex and Hyundai Oil Bank, also began importing US crude oil last year, as margins for light crude increased.

The combined import volume of US crude oil in the first half of this year reached 3.1 million barrels, up 664.5 percent on-year, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy’s data. 

By Shim Woo-hyun (