South Korea’s crude imports up 4.5%

South Korea's imports of crude oil in 2010 increased 4.5% from the previous year to 872.4 million barrels, or 2.39 million barrels per day (bpd), but its bills surged 35.4% to US$68.7 billion due to higher international prices, the energy ministry said on February 15. The country paid US$50.7 billion in 2009 to import 835.1 million barrels of crude. South Korea also imported 276.8 million barrels of refined oil products last year, up 3.2% from 2009, and its bills jumped 40.8% to US$20.9 billion, according to the Ministry of Knowledge Economy. "The country paid a total of US$89.6 billion to import crude and refined products last year, up 36.8% from US$65.5 billion in 2009," the ministry said in a statement. (February 15, 2011)