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South Korea to get US sanctions waiver on Iran oil imports for 180 days: sources

South Korea expects to secure a US sanctions waiver on Iranian oil imports under certain conditions for 180 days from November 5, two South Korean sources familiar with the negotiations told S&P Global Platts Friday.

“A waiver [will be] granted” for South Korea to import Iranian oil for the 180 days, with the imports monitored prior to the expiry with a view to extending the waiver for another six months following negotiations with the US, one of the two sources said.
A South Korean government official said: “We have not received official notification from the US yet.”

South Korea’s actual resumption of Iranian oil liftings is likely begin from January 2019 onwards as it will take some time to make the arrangements, including shipping, one of the sources said.

The anticipated waiver will come after several rounds of negotiations, during which Seoul has presented proposals regarding South Korea’s imports of Iranian oil, which Washington had responded to with conditions, said the source, declining to elaborate.

International buyers of Iranian oil have until November 4 to wind down contracts before the US re-imposes sanctions on the oil, energy, shipping and insurance sectors, according to a US Treasury Department fact sheet. The US will also consider allowing countries to continue importing Iranian crude oil as long as they demonstrate that they are significantly reducing those volumes every 180 days, the fact sheet said.

South Korea has imported no oil from Iran in September and October. The Northeast Asian country has sharply reduced imports of Iranian crude and condensate since May, and received just 2 million barrels of South Pars condensate in August.
Source: Platts

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