South Korea called on the Iraqi government to help keep the country supplied with crude oil, a ministry official said Friday.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari met Friday in Seoul with South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan as part of a four-day visit to the region. It marked the first time an Iraqi foreign minister was in the country since the countries established formal diplomatic relations in 1989.
"Minister Kim requested Iraq support a stable supply of crude oil and our companies' bids to participate in oil and natural gas development projects," South Korea's official Yonhap news agency quotes a ministry official as saying.
Zebari didn't respond with a specific commitment but said Iraq was producing around 3 million barrels of oil per day. That volume could double within the next few years, he added.
In response to Western sanctions on Iran, South Korea is looking to replace the 10 percent of its crude oil that it gets from Iran. South Korea depends on imports to meet its entire demand for oil.
South Korean President Lee Myung-bak last week received assurances from Saudi Arabia that the Saudis could help make up for the lack of Iranian crude.