Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Japan News

Japan December Spot LNG Teases 3-year High

File Image: A typical LNG Carrier at Sea (CREDIT: MISC)

Average price of spot LNG contracted in Dec was $10.20/mmBtu. Prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) spot cargoes for Japan, the world's top buyer, rose to their highest in nearly three years in December, official data showed on Monday, in line with firm spot prices in the region. The average contract price for spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes for shipment to Japan last month was $10.20 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), up $1.20 from the previous month, preliminary data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) showed.

China to top Japan as World's Biggest LNG Importer

File Image: A typical LNG Carrier at Sea (CREDIT: QGTC)

Pollution fight drives surge in pipeline, LNG imports but Japan remains world's biggest importer of LNG. Beijing's crackdown on pollution has put China on track to overtake Japan this year as the world's biggest importer of natural gas, used to replace dirtier coal. China - already the biggest importer of oil and coal - is the world's third biggest user of natural gas behind the United States and Russia, but has to import around 40 percent of its total needs as domestic production can't keep up with demand.

Idemitsu, Showa Shell to Combine Crude Liftings

The two companies expect to finish this loading integration in the second-half of 2018, Idemitsu CEO Takashi Tsukioka told reporters on the sidelines of an industry event to mark the New Year. Idemitsu said last month that it and Showa Shell would combine management of their key businesses, pursuing a merger bitterly opposed by a core investor - Idemitsu's founding family. Japan's second- and fourth-biggest refiners by sales aim to win over Idemitsu's founding family by showing successful examples of "synergies" between the two companies, Tsukioka said.

Japan's U.S. LPG 2017 Imports hit Record High

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Martin)

U.S. now meets half of Japan's LPG demand; U.S. supplies have soared as part of shale boom. Japan's liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) imports from the United States are expected to double in 2017 to a record and account for around for around half of its total purchases, government and shipping data showed. The surge comes as shale oil and gas output lifts overall U.S. production to rival that of Saudi Arabia and Russia. As with crude oil, the American exports displace LPG from the Middle East…

China Rises to World's No.2 LNG Importer

File Image: A typical LNG Carrier at Sea (CREDIT: QGTC)

China's 2017 LNG imports to top South Korea's for first time; becomes key driver of spot LNG prices. China will become the world's second-biggest importer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) this year as it overtakes South Korea, shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon showed. This is a huge boost to Asia's emerging spot market as Chinese buyers rely much more on short-term purchases to meet their needs than their counterparts in Japan and South Korea. Shipping…

Japan PM Tells Brazil Time to do More Business

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe touted the success of his economic policies on a visit to Brazil on Friday and said it was time for the two nations to expand their trade and investment partnership. On the first visit to Brazil in a decade by a Japanese prime minister, Japanese banks extended $700 million in loans to boost Brazilian soy and corn exports to Japan and build ship platforms for Brazil's burgeoning offshore oil industry. Abe told Brazilian…

Japan Demands Chinese Halt to South China Sea Energy Play

Japan called on China on Tuesday to halt construction of oil-and-gas exploration platforms in the East China Sea close to waters claimed by both nations, concerned that Chinese drills could tap reservoirs that extend into Japanese territory. Japan's Defense Ministry added the demand to its annual defense review after hawkish members of the ruling party complained that its original draft was too soft on China, a ministry official said. China resumed exploration in the East China Sea two years ago, the report said.

Saudi Aramco, Japan to expand Okinawa Crude Storage Deal

Storage capacity to be expanded by about 2 million barrels. Saudi Aramco and the Japanese government are set to agree on a roughly 2 million barrel expansion of crude storage capacity in Okinawa, used by the state-run firm to store oil, Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said on Thursday. Under an agreement with Tokyo, Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) each store up to 1 million kilolitres (6.3 million barrels) of crude oil in Okinawa, southwest of mainland Japan.

Japan Protests over Signs of Renewed Chinese Gas Exploration

Japan has protested to China over signs it is pressing ahead with maritime gas exploration in the East China Sea despite Tokyo's repeated requests to stop, Japan's top government spokesman said on Wednesday. The exploration platforms are on the Chinese side of the median line between the two countries, but Japan accuses China of ignoring a 2008 agreement to maintain cooperation on resources development in an area where no official border has been drawn.

Japan Atomic Power to Bifurcate to focus on decommissioning

Japan's first 1 GW nuclear power plant

Japan Atomic Power Company is considering splitting itself into two units, seeking to restructure its business to focus on the decommissioning of nuclear reactors on behalf of regional utilities, the Nikkei business daily reported on Saturday. The plan appears to reflect the government's intention to reorganise Japan's nuclear power businesses, which have effectively come to a halt since the 2011 Fukushima disaster, the newspaper said. Calls made seeking a response to the Nikkei report were not returned immediately.

Japan Court to Decide on Nuclear Plant, Crucial to Atomic Future

A Japanese court will rule later on Tuesday on an injunction request against reactors owned by Kansai Electric Power, in a case that could derail Japan's slow return to nuclear power after the 2011 Fukushima disaster. The ruling will have ramifications for attempts by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a strong proponent of atomic energy, to revive the world's third-biggest economy after two decades of anaemic growth. A panel of judges is due to rule on the injunction request against Kansai Electric's Takahama reactors west of Tokyo at 0500 GMT.

Japan Eyes LNG Projects in Russian Arctic

Russian Energy Minister said on Wednesday Japan was interested in taking part in projects to produce liquefied natural gas in the Arctic. "Japan today shows its interest in increasing cooperation in the Arctic, including construction of a plant to produce liquefied natural gas," Novak said in comments shown on Rossiya-24 TV station. He didn't specify what was the project that Japan was interested in. Russian largest non-state gas producer Novatek said earlier it planned to build new facilities to produce LNG in the Arctic.

Japan, Saudi Aramco extend Okinawa Crude Storage Deal

file image: AdobeStock 119535276

State-run Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp (JOGMEC) said it signed a contract with the world's top exporter Saudi Aramco on Wednesday to extend a crude oil storage deal on the island of Okinawa by three years. Under the agreement, Saudi Aramco can store up to 1 million kilolitres (6.3 million barrels) of crude oil on the island southwest of mainland Japan for the next three years, JOGMEC said in a statement. The volumes are unchanged from the previous three-year deal, which is expiring this month.

China: Every Right to Drill in East China Sea

China said on Friday it had every right to drill in the East China Sea close to waters disputed with Japan, adding that it did not recognise a "unilateral" Japanese median line setting out a boundary between the two in the waters. Japan this week called on China to halt construction of oil-and-gas exploration platforms in the East China Sea close to waters claimed by both nations, concerned that Chinese drills could tap reservoirs that extend into Japanese territory.

Japan, Mexico Sign Carbon Trade Deal

Japan and Mexico have signed a deal for Japanese companies to earn carbon credits by investing in technology to cut greenhouse gas emissions in Mexico - in Japan's 12th bilateral carbon agreement. The program known as the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM), lets companies in Japan, the world's fifth-biggest greenhouse gas emitter, use lower-cost emission cuts abroad to help meet domestic targets. "The objective ... is to establish the basis through which the participants will promote the investment and the use of technologies…

Japan, Mexico Sign Carbon Trade Deal

Japan and Mexico have signed a deal for Japanese companies to earn carbon credits by investing in technology to cut greenhouse gas emissions in Mexico - in Japan's 12th bilateral carbon agreement. The program, known as the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM), lets companies in Japan, the world's fifth-biggest greenhouse gas emitter, use lower-cost emission cuts abroad to help meet domestic targets. "The objective ... is to establish the basis through which the participants will promote the investment and the use of technologies…

South Carolina Governor Urges U.S. to Divert Plutonium from Japan

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has written to U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz demanding a shipment of weapons-grade plutonium en route to her state from Japan be turned back or sent elsewhere, according to a copy of the letter seen by Reuters. The demand has the potential to embarrass the Obama administration a week before it hosts an important summit on nuclear non-proliferation and undermine what so far has been viewed as a success in keeping weapons-grade material safe.

JERA Imports Japan's First Liquefied Shale Gas Cargo from U.S.

File Image: an LNG carrier (CREDIT: Parker Bestobell)

Japan's JERA Co said on Friday it imported the country's first liquefied shale gas cargo from the United States as part of efforts to diversify its supply. This also marks Japan's first import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) produced in the contiguous United States. Japan previously had imported U.S. LNG only from Alaska. JERA, a fuel joint venture between Tokyo Electric Power and Chubu Electric Power, said the vessel Oak Spirit, which passed through the Panama Canal, arrived at Chubu Electric's Joetsu LNG terminal facing the Sea of Japan on Friday.

Japanese Deep Ocean Exploration Ship Shown Off

Resarch Ship 'Hakurei': Photo credit JOG&MNC

Japan has unveiled a 6,283-ton exploration vessel that will search for rare metals and other natural resources in waters around the nation. The Hakurei, 118 meters long and 19 meters wide, was shown to the media at Harumi Wharf in Tokyo. The vessel features drilling equipment that can dig up 400 meters into the seabed at a depth of 2,000 meters. The ship will initially search for resources off Okinawa Prefecture and the Ogasawara Islands. The Hakurei is owned by the government-backed Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp.

Japan LNG Imports Hit Record Levels

File photo

Japan imported record volumes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and thermal coal in the fiscal year ended in March, as the country's  shutdowns of nuclear stations since the Fukushima disaster in 2011 forced utilities to burn more fossil fuels to generate power. Japan, the world's biggest LNG buyer, imported 87.73 million tonnes of the fuel in the year to March 2014, up 1 percent from the previous high a year ago, helping rack up a record trade deficit of 13.75 trillion yen ($134.45 billion) for the world's No.3 economy, Ministry of Finance data showed on Monday.