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Japan to release six million barrels of oil from private reserves

THE JAPAN TIMES – The Industry Ministry said on Friday it will release six million barrels of oil from privately held reserves as part of its contribution to a second round of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) coordinated release to calm crude oil prices.

Japan will release the petroleum, equivalent to about three days of domestic consumption, by allowing local refiners to lower their mandatory stockpile level in private reserves by three days, to 63 days of domestic demand, from April 16 and October 8.

Japan said earlier this month it would release a record 15 million barrels of oil from national reserves as part of a second round of the coordinated release led by the IEA.

The remaining nine million barrels of oil will be released from state petroleum reserves, with details such as the method to be used and timing to be decided later, an official at the ministry said.

Japan held around 470 million barrels of petroleum reserves at the end of January, or 236 days of domestic consumption, comprising state reserves, private reserves held by local refiners’ tanks and a joint crude oil storage plan with producing countries.

Earlier this month, IEA states agreed to tap 60 million barrels of oil from storage, on top of a 180-million-barrel release announced by Washington in late March aimed at cooling prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A state oil reserve facility in Fukui Prefecture. PHOTO: THE JAPAN TIMES/KYODO
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