Japan looks to Qatar, Gulf states for replacing Iranian oil
JAPANESE oil companies and the government are planning to hold talks with authorities in Qatar and other Arab Gulf states about replacing Iranian crude oil imports, should they not be available after the placing of sanctions against the Islamic republic, a senior Japanese official said on Tuesday.
Ryo Minami, head of the international affairs division at Japan’s ministry of economy, trade and industry, said his government and Japanese firms would buy oil from countries with high production capacity.
“Our relations with Gulf states are getting closer,” Minami told reporters on the sidelines of an International Energy Forum summit conference in Kuwait, although he said the decision to import oil rests on Japanese private oil companies.
Japan reduced purchases from Iran by 11.7 percent last year to 18 million kiloliters, or about 313,000 barrels a day, according data compiled by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. That accounted for 8.8 percent of Japan’s total crude oil imports in the year.