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U.S. Oil Lets Top Korean Refiner Pivot Away From Middle East

  • American imports may expand beyond shale crude: SK Trading CEO
  • SK to supply 130k b/d of low-sulfur fuels by middle of 2020
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Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
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South Korea’s biggest oil refiner is looking to buy a wider variety of U.S. crude grades in a move that would reduce its reliance on supplies from the conflict-prone Middle East.

SK Trading International Co. is considering heavier oil grades from the Gulf of Mexico and Canada as well as ultra-light crude from shale fields if prices are competitive, Chief Executive Officer Suh Sokwon said in an interview. The unit is the trading arm of SK Innovation Co., Korea’s top refiner.