Japan to buy 1.9m barrels of Mideast crude for reserves

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The state-run Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp (JOGMEC) issued a tender on Monday to buy about 1.89 million barrels (300,000 kilolitres) of Middle Eastern medium crude for the government’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves.

JOGMEC will hold the tender on July 12, with bids to be opened on the same day, the tender document showed.


In recent years, the government has been trying to replace heavier crude in its national reserves with lighter crudes to reflect the growing share of light crudes in Japan’s recent imports. The sales are not related to any emergency release coordinated by the International Energy Agency.

The government is considering buying back a total 1.3m kl of mostly light crude that it sold from Strategic Petroleum Reserves since last year, a trade ministry official had said in April.

The trade ministry in April sold via tender 100,000kl of Indonesia’s light sweet Attaka crude and 600,000kl of heavy sour Khafji crude from the strategic reserves. Attaka, used as a direct-burning crude for power generation, was sold because the grade is difficult for domestic refiners to process.

Last year the government also sold 300,000kl each of Khafji crude and sour, Iraqi Basra Light crude from its strategic reserves.

Offers should be made in increments of 100,000kl, with the barrels to be delivered to the offshore Shirashima oil storage base in Fukuoka prefecture, southwestern Japan, JOGMEC said in the tender document.

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