JXTG mulls changing loading schedules, bunkering in Singapore for Qatar oil imports
Japan’s JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy is considering changing its loading schedules in the Persian Gulf as well as bunkering in Singapore instead of Fujairah for VLCCs carrying crude from Qatar, a company official said Friday.
While the largest Japanese refiner is still trying to clarify information about the acceptance of tankers arriving from or heading to Qatar in the UAE, it has begun considering options, the official said.
“We will consider and execute best operational options including changing VLCC loading schedules and securing bunker fuel in Singapore,” the official said.
Abu Dhabi has put back restrictions on accepting at its ports tankers heading to or arriving from Qatar after briefly easing them earlier this week, market sources said Thursday.
Abu Dhabi said in a circular sent to customers it would deny “entry into any of the petroleum ports for all vessels arriving from or destined to Qatar, regardless of its flag.” The UAE’s Fujairah port was also not accepting tankers going to or coming from Qatar, market sources said Thursday.
The moves are in line with UAE governmental directives issued on Monday regarding the enforcement of a blockade on diplomatic ties and closure of all borders with Qatar.
The Qatar diplomatic crisis makes it difficult for buyers of Middle Eastern oil to co-load Qatari oil on their tankers.
While several North Asian buyers are now looking at importing on smaller Suezmax or Aframax tankers, JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy was not considering such options, the official added.
Japan imported an average of 249,803 b/d of oil from Qatar over January-April. Qatar was the fourth-largest supplier in the period, accounting for 7% of Japan’s total oil imports of around 3.43 million b/d, according to S&P Global Platts calculations based on data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.