Samsung Total Petrochemicals, a joint venture between the French oil and gas group Total and South Korea's Samsung, will stop buying crude oil from Iran, representative of the French company responsible for refining, Patrick Puyang said.
Previously, the company purchased oil from Iran under a spot transaction, RBC reported with reference to Reuters.
"It was a spot deal, but we will not buy Iranian oil even under such transactions. Total informed the management of Samsung Total and partner Samsung Group that the company does not agree with the policy on procurement, as it respects the law and complies with international sanctions," Puyang said.
Earlier, Samsung Total Petrochemicals purchased oil in Iran using spot market transactions resulting in heavy criticism of the company due to international sanctions imposed against Iran. The company stood its ground for nearly a year. However ultimately, as its financial performance began to deteriorate, it could not refuse from purchasing relatively cheap Iranian oil, sources close to the deal commented on the situation.
Last year, Samsung Total stopped buying Iranian oil against sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union on Iran over its provocative nuclear programme.
According to experts, Iran's oil sector has been hit by Western sanctions, something the Iranian side is trying to deny. However, recent data confirms the decline in Iranian oil exports.
Earlier today, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that Iran will be forced to further cut its oil exports, the volume of which has already reached its lowest level in three decades amid tightening of international sanctions.
As noted in the monthly IEA report released today, preliminary data suggest that exports of Iranian oil in January 2013 dropped below one million barrels per day against a decrease in purchases by China and South Korea. In December 2012, there was some recovery in Iranian exports which, according to the IEA, amounted to 1.56 million barrels per day.