Saudi Arabia May Increase Oil Supplies to South Korea

Saudi Arabia said it is prepared to help South Korea secure “stable” crude oil supplies if the northern Asian country’s imports are disrupted by an embargo on Iran.

Saudi Arabia can meet any future requests and extra demand from South Korea for oil purchases, the kingdom’s oil minister Ali al-Naimi said in a meeting with South Korean President Lee Myung Bak in Riyadh yesterday, according to the presidential office’s website.

South Korea, which relies on imports for almost all of its crude needs, is supporting U.S. efforts to impose sanctions on Iranian oil to force the country to abandon its alleged nuclear weapon program. South Korea imported 926.8 million barrels of crude last year, of which 31 percent came from Saudi Arabia and 9.4 percent from Iran.

President Lee visited Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates from Feb. 3 and Feb. 7 to discuss energy issues.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sangim Han in Seoul at sihan@bloomberg.net Eunkyung Seo in Seoul at eseo3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amit Prakash at aprakash1@bloomberg.net.

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