Japan's METI: Refiners to consider resuming Iran oil imports

06 November, 2018
Source: Platts

Japan's Minister of Economy Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko said Tuesday that Japanese refiners would start preparing for the resumption of Iranian crude oil imports following the US announcement Monday that Japan was among eight countries receiving its sanctions waiver.

"Following the decision, individual companies would prepare for the resumption of Iranian crude oil," Seko told a press conference in Tokyo.

Speaking to S&P Global Platts Tuesday, Japan's largest refiner JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy confirmed it is in the midst of considering the resumption of Iranian oil imports, following the latest development.

US sanctions on Iranian crude exports went back into effect Monday, although top buyers of Iranian crude were given temporary waivers until May, when they will be expected to cut their purchases significantly.

The US has given temporary waivers to China, India and Turkey -- Iran's top buyers -- as well as Japan, South Korea, Italy, Greece and Taiwan. However, the US maintained its goal of eventually reducing Iranian crude exports to zero.

Japan's last Iranian oil cargo arrived in early October as local refiners and banks intended to clear all of their oil-related transactions before the US sanctions were enforced.

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