January 14, 2019 / 9:21 AM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-S.Korea to receive Iranian condensate cargoes in Jan after 4-mth gap - source

* About 2 mln bbls of Iranian condensate to arrive in Jan - source

* About 960,000 bbls to arrive this week - source

* Resumption of S.Korea’s Iran oil imports after four months

* S.Korea has not imported oil from Iran since Sept (Adds details, background)

By Jane Chung

SEOUL, Jan 14 (Reuters) - A South Korean oil buyer is set to receive about 2 million barrels of Iranian condensate in January, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The cargo marks the first Iranian oil import by South Korea in four months after the world’s fifth-largest oil buyer halted imports before the U.S. reimposed sanctions on Iran in November.

The first cargo of about 960,000 barrels of condensate, a type of light crude oil typically produced in association with natural gas, is expected to arrive this week at the port of Incheon, said the source, who declined to be named due to sensitivity of the matter.

The Silvia 1, a vessel carrying 955,000 barrels of Iranian oil, is set to arrive in South Korea on Jan. 15, trade flow data from Refinitv Eikon showed.

A second cargo of 990,000 barrels will arrive later this month, the source said.

In November, South Korea won a temporary waiver from the United States to purchase a limited amount of Iranian oil. The U.S. reimposed sanctions on Iran’s oil sector in November to pressure the country to end its nuclear programme and to curtail its support for Syria and militants in Yemen.

South Korea can buy up to 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian oil under the sanctions waiver, mainly condensate, according to industry sources.

South Korean oil buyers were expected to restart oil purchases from Iran in late January or early February, the head of SK Innovation, owner of South Korea’s top refiner SK Energy, told Reuters last week.

South Korean buyers of Iranian crude and condensate include SK Energy and SK Incheon Petrochemical, owned by SK Innovation, Hyundai Oilbank Corp and Hanwha Total Petrochemical Co. (Additional reporting by Florence Tan in SINGAPORE; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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