Arabs Supplied 78% of Japan Crude Oil Needs in November

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tokyo - (PanOrient News) Arab oil comprised 94.2 million barrels, or 77.8 percent, of Japan total crude imports in November, the Natural Resources and Energy Agency said.

Saudi Arabia alone provided 31.3 percent of the total imports, or 38.24 million barrels, putting the kingdom at the top of Japan's oil suppliers. The United Arab Emirates followed with 22.14 million barrels or 18.1 percent of the total, according to the agency that belongs to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

This means that over 50 percent of Japan's oil needs came from two Arab countries.

Qatar came third with 15.10 million barrels, or 12.3 percent of total imports in November.

Iran maintained a strong position in the list of oil suppliers to Japan, providing 11 million barrels, or 9 percent, of total imports. Tokyo has exempted crude oil from the sanctions it applies against Tehran.

Japan's total crude oil imports in November rose 10.8 percent from a year earlier to 122.09 million barrels, or 3.95 million barrels a day, marking the first rise in two months.

Along with Kuwait, fifth on the list with 8.5 million barrels (and 7 percent of total imports), considerable amounts of crude were shipped to Japan from Oman, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen and the Natural Zone which is located between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

In November, Japan depended on the Middle East for 86 percent of its total crude oil imports.

Japanese energy policy makers, who have been trying, without much success, to reduce that dependence, seem to have some hope to achieve their goal.

The Russian Far East region, dubbed as "the New Middle East", has been providing increased oil supplies to Japan in recent months. In November, East Siberian oil amounted to about 7 million barrels, or 5.7 percent, of total Japan oil imports.

This puts Russia at number 6 on the list of top oil suppliers to Japan.

Tokyo was the biggest importer of crude oil shipped in 2010 from Kozmino port in the Russian Far East, Japanese media reported.

Japan imported 30 percent of the 15.3 million tons of crude oil shipped from the port near Nakhodka this year, followed by South Korea at 29 percent, the United States at 16 percent, Taiwan at 11 percent and China at 8 percent.

Kozmino is the terminal of Russia's planned East Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline.

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