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Japan sells 2.08 mln bbls crude from strategic reserves




By Reuters Staff

Petroleumworld 08 31 2017

Japan has sold 2.08 million barrels (330,000 kilolitres) of Khafji crude from the government's Strategic Petroleum Reserves amid a shift by the nation's refiners to process more lighter grades, a trade ministry official said.

The Khafji grade was stored at Shibushi national oil storage in Kagoshima, southern Japan, and is to be delivered sometime between October and February, the official said on Wednesday. The tender was held last week, he added.

This marks the government's first sale from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves since 2015, he added. Trading house Mitsui & Co has won the tender, trading sources said, but the company declined to comment.

The tender was not related to any emergency release coordinated by the International Energy Agency.

Khafji crude, a heavy-sour variety, comes from a shared neutral zone field between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Japan has been trying to replace heavier crude in its national reserves with lighter grades for years to reflect the growing share of light crudes in imports.

As of now, the government has no plans to buy replacement crude or sell more from the national stockpiles during the current business year ending March, the official said.

Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori in TOKYO and Florence Tan in SINGAPORE; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath and Sherry Jacob-Phillips from Reuters.

08 30 2017

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