Saudi to start storing crude in Japan
Tokyo, December 14, 2010
State-run Saudi Aramco will start storing crude oil in Japan from February onwards, helping the Pacific nation stock up its reserves while giving the top oil exporter better access to Asian markets.
State-run Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp (JOGMEC) said it signed a contract with Saudi Aramco on Tuesday, allowing the top crude exporter to store about 600,000 kilolitres (3.8 million barrels) of crude in Okinawa, southwest Japan, for three years ending December 2013.
The first vessel carrying 1.9 million barrels of crude is scheduled to arrive in February or later.
The contract comes six months after the basic agreements between Japan's trade ministry and Saudi Aramco.
Saudi Arabia and Japan have been discussing an agreement in which the kingdom would store crude oil in Okinawa since April 2007, when then-Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe offered the storage.
The move follows a deal Japan inked with Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) last year to store crude in the country, as Middle East oil producers move to bolster their onshore crude storage capacity in Asia. – Reuters