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U.S. Sanctions on Iranian Oil Stir Up a Corner of the Market

  • S. Korea shuns Iran’s South Pars condensate pending U.S. talks
  • Nation instead buys unusually large number of naphtha cargoes
Crude Oil Shipments In The Persian Gulf
Photographer: Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg
Updated on

Effects of the U.S. decision to renew sanctions on OPEC member Iran are already spreading beyond the world of crude to some corners of the oil market.

Refiners in South Korea, a U.S. ally as well as one of Iran’s largest customers, are shunning a type of oil known as condensate from the Islamic Republic to feed the nation’s petrochemical plants, and instead buying unusually large amounts of a processed fuel known as naphtha from elsewhere. SK Innovation Co., the Asian country’s top processor, Hanwha Total Petrochemical Co. and Hyundai Oilbank Co. have all rushed to procure supply for the next two months.