Two Japanese firms aim to resume Iran oil loadings at end-Jan

08 January, 2019
Source: Platts

Japan's JXTG Holdings intends to resume loading oil from Iran at the end of January, while Cosmo Oil aims to load around 1.8 million barrels of Iranian crude at the end of this month upon making final clearance, the presidents of the companies told S&P Global Platts Monday.

"We hope to resume [Iranian oil imports] as soon as possible," said Tsutomu Sugimori, president of JXTG Holdings, the parent of Japan's largest refiner, JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy. "As we see Iran as an important crude source, we intend to resume [the loadings] immediately as soon as it is clear to do so."

"Taking into account that after the 180-day period it remains uncertain whether we can load [from Iran] in March," Sugimori said on the sidelines of the New Year reception of the Petroleum Association of Japan in Tokyo.

But the pending clarity on "various procedures," which Sugimori declined to elaborate on, the resumption of Iranian oil loadings could be pushed back from January to February, he said.

"We hope to be able to resume [Iranian oil loadings] this month, with a possibility for them to be delayed to next month," Sugimori said.

Speaking to reporters Monday, PAJ president Takashi Tsukioka said the Japanese petroleum industry will continue to ask the government to secure an extension to the current 180-day sanctions waiver from the US.

Shunichi Tanaka, president of Cosmo Oil, said it is awaiting final clearance from Japanese banks before moving ahead to resume loadings from Iran, after having its shipping insurance concerns clarified, Tanaka said.

In order to resume Iranian oil loadings at the end of January, Tanaka said Cosmo Oil hopes to have clarity over bank transactions this week.

"We are looking to take around 1.8 million barrels on a tanker at the end of January," said Tanaka, adding that the company has already decided on a VLCC for its intended loading this month for discharge at its 177,000 b/d Chiba refinery in Tokyo Bay.

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