SK Incheon Petrochem plans to diversify crude oil imports

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SK Incheon Petrochem plans to diversify crude oil imports

SK Incheon Petrochem, a producer of petrochemical products, is considering boosting imports of light crude oil from various countries as part of its diversification strategy, a company official said Tuesday.

SK Incheon Petrochem, a wholly owned subsidiary of Korea’s biggest oil refiner SK Innovation, imported 3 million barrels of light crude oil from Russia, Kazakhstan and Nigeria in April to make up for a cut in imports of Iranian condensate.

“We are considering increasing imports of light crude oil from various countries,” the official said. He declined to identify various countries due to fierce competition to secure crude oil at lower prices.

Currently, the Middle East accounts for about 80 percent of SK Incheon Petrochem’s crude oil imports.

In 2016, SK Incheon Petrochem introduced Iranian condensate following the lifting of economic sanctions, a deal that helped boost the company’s operating profit to 374.5 billion won ($350 million), much higher than local competitors.

SK Incheon Petrochem reduced its imports of Iranian condensate to 1.1 million barrels, about half of its previous imports, in the fourth quarter due to a price hike of Iranian condensate.

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