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End of U.S. sanction waiver on Iran oil to not hurt Taiwan: CPC

2019/04/22 23:14:29

Taipei, April 22 (CNA) Waiver exemptions the United States government gave to eight countries to allow them to continue buying oil from Iran despite sanctions will end in early May, but Taiwan's state-run oil refiner did not expect the move to affect Taiwan.

U.S. President Donald Trump has decided not to reissue waivers regarding sanctions against countries importing Iranian oil when they expire in early May, foreign news services quoted the White House as saying.

This means that countries that continue purchasing crude oil from Iran will face sanctions from the U.S. after the waivers expire on May 2.

State-run oil refiner CPC Corp., Taiwan said it only purchased about 2 million barrels of crude oil from Iran last year and none so far this year, and it did not expect the termination of the sanctions waivers to affect the company.

Formosa Petrochemical Corp., another major oil player in Taiwan, said it stopped importing crude from Iran since November 2018.

According to the Bureau of Energy's official website, the major sources of Taiwan's crude oil last year were Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, with Iran accounting for only 2 percent of the total.

The U.S. reimposed sanctions on Iran last November, six months after Washington unilaterally pulled out from a nuclear deal signed by six countries (U.S., U.K., France, China, Russia, and Germany) with Iran in 2015, to pressure Tehran to keep its military expansion in the Middle East in check.

Although the U.S. set a goal to cut Iran's oil exports to zero, Washington exempted Iran's eight major oil importers -- China, India, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Italy, Greece and Taiwan -- from the sanctions until May 2 to prevent oil prices from spiking out of control.

Monday's decision, which threatened to wipe roughly 1 million barrels per day off the market, sent oil prices surging about 3 percent to nearly six-month highs.

(By Chiang Chin-yeh, Tsai Peng-min, Wei Shu and Emerson Lim)
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