Hanwha Total mulls more condensate from Iran to ease reliance on Qatar

04-May-16
South Korea's Hanwha Total Petrochemicals is considering buying more condensate from Iran to ease its reliance on Qatar and benefit from Iran's post-sanctions era, as per a company source in Platts. Hanwha Total, formerly Samsung Total, operates a 150,000 b/d condensate splitter at its Daesan complex, south of Seoul. It has no CDUs. The company imports most of its condensate needs from Qatar. Over January-March, it imported 9.59 mln barrels of condensate from Qatar, accounting for 55.6% of its total imports of 17.25 mln barrels, the source said. Its other major condensate suppliers include Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Australia and Oman. Hanwha Total is a 50:50 joint venture between South Korea's Hanwha Group and the French major Total. Hanwha Total imported 1 million barrels of Iranian condensate in April for the first time since the lifting of international sanctions on Iran in January. "The 1 million barrels of Iranian condensate were unloaded in mid-April," the source said. "We tested the Iranian condensate and the result was positive; [it was found] to be suitable to our facility. We will consider importing further cargoes from Iran but nothing has been decided yet," the source added. Hanwha's local rival, SK Incheon Petrochem, a subsidiary of the country's largest refiner SK Innovation, hiked its purchase of Iranian condensate soon after the lifting of the sanctions. SK Incheon imported 9.11 million barrels of Iranian crude oil, mostly condensate, in Q1, surging from 801,000 barrels a year earlier. It has been heavily reliant on Qatari condensate to run its 100,000 b/d condensate splitter at its Incheon complex on the west coast.
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