Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) will purchase 6 million barrels of crude from Abu Dhabi in an effort to replenish the strategic reserves depleted earlier in the year in response to the Libya crisis.
The Korean state-owned oil company will also import 5.3 million barrels from Azerbaijan in an effort to raise its reserves to 141 million barrels by 2013.
South Korea, the world’s fifth-largest importer of crude, had been part of the International Energy Agency’s Libyan collective action, under which the world’s largest oil-consuming nations released stockpiles into the market in June after Libyan exports dried up during the country’s civil war.
The collective action reduced KNOC’s share of the co-stockpiles, reserves held by the country’s 12 oil producers and majors, to 27.4 million barrels. The target is to reach 39.9 million barrels by the end of this year and the purchases from Abu Dhabi and Azerbaijan will be added to the co-stockpiles inventories.
South Korea’s strategic reserves stood at 117 million barrels at the end of August.