South Korean refiners are set to import about a quarter more Iraqi term crude in 2014, as oil from other Middle Eastern suppliers is squeezed out by higher pricing or limits on Iranian supply due to sanctions, Reuters has reported, citing industry sources. “Iraqi crude oil has good economics and … it has been replacing Iranian crude demand as their qualities are similar. Crude oils from Qatar and Oman are too expensive,” a Seoul-based refining source said. “By how much Iraq imports can increase in the future depends on the development of sanctions on Iran,” he added. South Korea’s second-largest refiner, GS Caltex Corp, will account for most of the country’s rise in Iraqi term imports, increasing its Basra light contract purchases for 2014 to 133,000 bpd, up from 100,000 bpd, the sources said.
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