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SEOUL/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - South Korean refiner Hyundai Oilbank has purchased a cargo of U.S. Southern Green Canyon crude oil, the country's first import of the grade, three trade sources said on Tuesday.
The country's smallest refiner by capacity has bought 1 million barrels of the U.S. heavy crude from a major oil company to arrive in May, according to the sources, who asked not to be identified as they were not authorized to speak with media.
A Hyundai Oilbank spokesman declined to comment on the issue.
The purchase comes as crude shipments to Asia from places such as the United States have jumped due to low shipping costs and as production cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) drive up prices for Middle Eastern oil.
A source told Reuters in January that Japan's TonenGeneral Sekiyu KK had bought a 500,000-barrel Southern Green Canyon cargo. Green Canyon is an area of the Gulf of Mexico.
South Korea's top refiner SK Energy [SKENGG.UL] said this month that it had bought 1 million barrels of Russian Urals crude for the first time in 10 years.
Reporting by Jane Chung in Seoul, Florence Tan and Mark Tay in Singapore; Editing by Joseph Radford