Japan to sell 4.7 mil barrels crude from national oil reserves in June
Japan will sell around 750,000 kiloliters, or 4.72 million barrels of crude oil from its national oil reserves via tenders in June as part of its contributions to the International Energy Agency’s joint effort to release oil, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said May 18.
The latest crude sales come after Japan awarded a total of 760,000 kl, or 4.78 million barrels of Hout crude oil produced in the Neutral Zone shared by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait from its national petroleum reserves held in the Shirashima, Kamigoto and Kiire oil reserve terminals in the southwest via three public tenders on May 10.
Japan’s oil sales from its national oil reserves marks the first sale under the country’s petroleum stockpiling law since the reserves were established in 1978.
In its upcoming tenders, Japan plans to sell about 370,000 kl, or 2.33 million barrels of Hout crude in up to three shipments from the Tomakomai national oil reserves terminal in Hokkaido over July 20-Sept. 30 via a tender June 10.
The country also plans to sell round 130,000 kl, or 817,674 barrels of Hout crude in up to two shipments from the Okinawa oil storage terminal over July 20-Sept. 30 via another tender June 10.
From the Onahama oil terminal in the northeast, Japan plans to sell around 250,000 kl, or 1.57 million barrels of Attaka crude produced in Indonesia in up to three shipments over July 20-Sept. 30 via another tender June 10.
After selling all the barrels in the next tenders, Japan will fulfill its IEA commitment to tap a total of 9 million barrels of oil from its national petroleum reserves in addition to the release of 6 million barrels of oil from privately held oil reserves by allowing local refiners and oil product importers to lower their stockpiles by three days over April 16-Oct. 8.
The Japanese government in an April 7 announcement said it plans to release a total of 15 million barrels of oil, including from the national oil reserves, for the IEA’s largest ever stock release of 120 million barrels.
Together with its earlier release of 7.5 million barrels of crude and oil products from privately held petroleum reserves, or four days of stockpile requirements, Japan will lower the requirements for privately held reserves by a total of 13.5 million barrels, or seven days.
The latest IEA move comes after the US pledged in the week ended April 2 to tap 180 million barrels of oil, effectively releasing 1 million b/d for six months from May in a bid to alleviate market concerns over potential shortages from a drop in Russian oil exports.
The IEA also clarified April 7 that over the next six months, around 240 million barrels of emergency oil stocks — the equivalent of well over 1 million b/d — will be made available to the global market. That implies the total release would include the 62.7 million barrels announced by the IEA on March 9, 30 million barrels of which is coming from the US.
Japan extended April 8 the period of its previous release of 7.5 million barrels of crude and oil products from privately held petroleum reserves by six months to Oct. 8 in response to a recent request from the IEA amid the prolonged Russia-Ukraine war.
At the end of March, Japan held a total of about 466.58 million barrels of petroleum reserves, equating to 232 days of domestic consumption, comprising national petroleum reserves, oil reserves held by the private sector and a joint crude oil storage program with oil-producing countries, according to METI data released May 16.
Crude stocks in Japan’s national oil reserves accounted for 286.06 million barrels of the total, while oil products in the national reserves comprised another 8.99 million barrels.
Privately held crude reserves totaled about 79 million barrels, with oil products stocks at 81.58 million barrels, while 11.01 million barrels of crude were held by oil producers in Japan.