Japan Restarts Reactor as Return to Nuclear Gathers Pace
Japan's Kyushu Electric Power Co on Friday said it restarted a reactor at its Genkai plant, the fifth nuclear power station in the country to get cleared under new safety regulations imposed after the Fukushima disaster. The move signals that Japan's return to nuclear power - criticized by some as too slow but still opposed by a majority in opinion polls - is gathering pace. The country may have as many as eight reactors operating by early June, representing 20 percent of available units.
Shell to Sell West Qurna 1 Stake to Itochu for $406 Mln
Oil major Royal Dutch Shell on Friday agreed to sell its entire stake in Iraq's West Qurna 1 oilfield to Japan's Itochu Corp for $406 million. The deal comes shortly after the Anglo-Dutch company agreed to exit the Majnoon oilfield, one of the largest fields in OPEC member Iraq, and hand over its operation to state-run Basra Oil Co (BOC) by end-June. Shell EP Middle East Holdings B.V. will sell the entire share capital of Shell Iraq B.V. (SIBV), which holds a 19.6 percent stake in the oilfield to a unit of Itochu, the Anglo Dutch company said.
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…
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 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.
Japan Atomic Power to Bifurcate to focus on decommissioning
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 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 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
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.
Japan LNG Imports Hit Record Levels
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.
Japanese Deep Ocean Exploration Ship Shown Off
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.
JERA Imports Japan's First Liquefied Shale Gas Cargo from U.S.
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.
JOGMEC Buys Light Crude for Strategic Reserves
State-run Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp (JOGMEC) on Monday bought about 2.52 million barrels (400,000 kilolitres) of light crude via tender for the government's Strategic Petroleum Reserves, a trade ministry official said. JOGMEC was seeking four sets of 630,000-barrel light crude, which are to be delivered to two government stockpiling bases in Tomakomai City in Hokkaido, northern Japan, by Feb. 24, 2016. The ministry official declined to comment on the crude grades or the prices.
Japan Pays Dearly for U.S. Shale Cargoes
Japan in January paid nearly twice as much for liquefied natural gas (LNG) derived from U.S. shale gas as it did for its cheapest imports, official trade data showed on Friday. Shale gas from the United States had been touted as a panacea to Japan's energy crisis after the Fukushima nuclear disaster nearly six years ago. The first supplies arrived in Japan last month to much fanfare but the revelation of its higher cost would seem to undermine the initial euphoria. Japan, the world's biggest importer of LNG, received 211,237 tonnes of U.S.
Japan to Supply India with Nuclear Power Equipment, Technology
Japan and India signed a civilian nuclear accord on Friday, opening the door for Tokyo to supply New Delhi with fuel, equipment and technology for nuclear power production, as India looks to atomic energy to sustain its rapid economic growth. It was the first time Japan, the only country to have suffered a nuclear attack, had concluded such a pact with a country that is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). "Today's signing ...