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“Japan's biggest refiner JX Nippon Oil & Energy has cut its annual crude contract with Iran by 27 percent, an industry source said, a move that will likely keep at bay any potential U.S. pressure over oil shipments from the Islamic republic…JX Nippon Oil & Energy, a unit of JX Holdings Inc, opted to cut its 2014 contract for crude from Iran to 53,000 bpd, from 73,000 bpd last year, said a source familiar with the matter who declined to be identified. The cut was in keeping with reductions to contracts from other crude suppliers such as Saudi Arabia that come as Japan's domestic demand weakens and refiners close down crude units, said the source. JX has cut its refining capacity nearly 600,000 bpd over the last five years due to Japan's shrinking home market and a government efficiency mandate…The reduction amounts to an annual loss of around $800 million for Iran at current prices, according to Reuters calculations. The cuts of 20,000 bpd were slightly more than expected, with the source saying in September that JX would cuts its 2014 imports from Iran to around 60,000 bpd. JX spokesmen declined to comment, citing confidentiality agreements with Iran. Japan reduced Iranian imports by 6.2 percent to 177,414 bpd last year, compared with a 0.9 percent decline in total oil imports. Even if other Japanese buyers lifted the same volumes from Iran this year as last year, the nation's imports would fall to 157,414 bpd, down 11 percent on year.” (Reuters, “Japan's JX cuts 2014 Iran term crude import 27 pct -source,” 3/14/14)
"Japan's biggest oil refiner JX Holdings has renewed its annual contract for importing crude oil from Iran for 2014, with volumes steady to slightly lower compared to this year. Steady progress in talks between world powers and Iran over Tehran's decade-old disputed nuclear programme is raising hopes shipments from the OPEC member will stabilise next year at the current reduced levels, prompting JX, and potentially, other buyers to renew their contracts…JX will import quantities of Iranian crude that are permitted under the Western sanctions, chairman Yasushi Kimura told reporters on Thursday, but declined to comment on the volumes…An official at JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp, the downstream oil unit of JX Holdings, said import volumes for 2014 from Iran have not been set formally but have been mostly decided, with steady or slightly lower quantities to be imported compared to 2013 levels. 'Volumes are not rising,' in 2014, the official said. JX Nippon is likely to cut its Iran import volumes to around 60,000 bpd in 2014 from an estimated 73,000 bpd this year, an industry source familiar with the matter said in September." (Reuters, "Japan's JX renews annual Iranian crude import contract for 2014," 12/19/13)
"Japan's top buyer of Iranian crude JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp is set to cut the oil it takes from the Middle Eastern producer in an annual contract for next year by nearly 20 percent, an industry source familiar with the matter said. Japan, Iran's third biggest oil client, has been cutting its purchases sharply since 2012, under pressure from U.S. and EU sanctions targeting Tehran's nuclear programme…JX is braced for the cuts even though Iran has proposed an agreement to address concerns about its nuclear programme within a year at talks with major powers. 'JX is set to cut close to 20 percent, or by more than 10,000 bpd,' the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity. JX Nippon, a downstream unit of JX Holdings, is expected to cut its Iran import volumes to around 60,000 bpd in 2014, down from an estimated 73,000 bpd this year. That would cost Iran around $390 million next year at current OPEC basket prices, according to Reuters calculations…JX until recently had two annual contracts with Iran, one with a larger volume running from January-December and a smaller one running over the April-March fiscal period. The company only renewed the bigger contract this year, cutting the volume by 10,000 bpd from a year earlier to 73,000 bpd. The second contract, for 10,000 bpd, was allowed to expire at the end of March 2012 and was not renewed." (Reuters, "Japan's JX set to cut 2014 Iran crude buys by nearly 20 pcta," 9/27/13)
"JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp., the country’s biggest refiner, will cut its imports from the current contract of about 80,000 barrels a day, Kimura Yasushi, who serves as chairman for both JX and the Petroleum Association of Japan, said at a press conference today... 'Maintaining that 160,000 barrels a day as a ceiling, refiners will look into reducing more, as JX cuts its own imports,' said Kimura, who declined to comment on how much purchases would be cut. 'We will tackle this while keeping a close eye on the U.S.’s policy on Iran'" (Bloomberg, "Japan to Extend Cuts in Iran Oil Imports in 2013, JX Chief Says," 12/19/12)
"Japanese refiners have yet to decide on their crude import volumes from Iran for 2013 as they are looking at various factors including US sanctions, Petroleum Association of Japan President Yasushi Kimura told reporters Monday.'At present, we have not decided on our direction of Iran crude imports,' Kimura said at a press conference in Tokyo. 'We will consider our options from now on to see such factors as various alternative crude options as well as situations over the US sanctions to decide whether we will cut our imports further or maintain the current reduction pace' . . . Kimura, who is the chairman of JX Nippon Oil & Energy, said the company is scheduled to renew its annual crude import contract in January 2013. JX Nippon Oil & Energy would decide its annual import contract next year by considering various factors at the time of its renewal, he added, declining to elaborate further. Platts reported October 17 that JX Nippon Oil & Energy has started talks with the National Iranian Oil Company for the renewal of its contract beyond January 2013. The company might finalize its 2013 contract with NIOC later this month, sources familiar with the matter had said then. JX Nippon Oil & Energy confirmed earlier that it has a contract to import 80,000 b/d of Iranian crude for January-December 2012. A second contract for 10,000 b/d expired at the end of March 2012. JX declined to comment on the fate of the 10,000 b/d import contract that NIOC had allowed it to keep pending for renewal. t was also not immediately clear whether JX Nippon Oil & Energy would reduce significantly its Iranian crude purchase volumes in 2013 compared with 2012 as Japan has already cut a significant volume of its imports this year from a year ago, according to industry sources . . . Japan's imports of crude from Iran have been falling in recent years and are set to fall further following its agreement with the US that allows Japanese banks continued access to the US financial system in return for a pledge to reduce the country's purchases of Iranian crude." (Platts, "Japan yet to decide on Iran crude import volumes for 2013 -- PAJ chief," 10/22/12)
"Japanese shippers will start loading on Friday their first cargo of Iranian oil in a month and a half, after the government provided insurance guarantees to replace EU coverage which was suspended due to sanctions against Iran, sources said…Japan's top refiner, JX Nippon Oil & Energy, which has a contracted volume with Iran of 83,000 bpd, has emerged as the country's biggest buyer of Iranian crude, taking the top spot from Showa Shell Sekiyu." (Reuters, "Japan shippers to resume loading Iranian oil on Friday," 7/20/12)
"Japan will load its first Iranian crude cargo backed by sovereign guarantees since sanctions disrupted coverage in the international reinsurance market.
JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. and Idemitsu Kosan Co. will load about 1.7 million barrels of Iranian crude on the very large crude carrier Ryuho Maru on about July 20 at Kharg Island, the country’s biggest oil-export terminal, according to three officials from the refiners and Japan’s trade ministry. The tanker, owned by Iino Kaiun Kaisha Ltd. , will be backed by the Japanese state, they said, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential.
Japan’s Iranian crude imports will fall in July because refiners were unsure whether the sovereign insurance would be available when they planned July-loading schedules last month, the officials said. Japan’s parliament passed a bill on June 20 to provide $7.6 billion of guarantees to tanker owners that carry Iranian oil. European Union sanctions, introduced as an attempt to persuade Iran to halt its nuclear program, took effect July 1." (Bloomberg, "Japan Set To Load First Iran Crude With Sovereign Insurance," 7/13/12)
"Japan will not import any Iranian crude in July as buyers held back to avoid any risk of running foul of EU sanctions targeting insurance, which have severely disrupted the OPEC member's supplies, industry and government sources said on Wednesday.
Japan will join South Korea among top Asian buyers in halting all Iranian imports this month due to sanctions imposed by Brussels on Sunday that aim to cut Iran's oil revenues and force Tehran to curb its nuclear program. The measure will cost Iran dearly in July, as Japan and South Korea imported a combined 256,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Iran's crude in May, worth over $750 million at current oil prices…The EU oil embargo has stopped European insurers, who dominate the maritime sector, from offering cover on Iranian crude. Industry watchers say the EU step has proven to be the hardest hitting measure in the West's arsenal of sanctions aimed at Iran.
Japan's government agreed last month to step in and provide insurance cover of up to $7.6 billion for shipments to keep oil trade with Tehran going…The country's next shipments will be loaded in Iran in late July. Allowing for journey time, they will arrive in Japan after mid-August, sources said…Japan has already scaled back its purchases of Iranian crude to ensure an exemption from U.S. sanctions, which target financial institutions dealing with Iran's central bank. The U.S. measures came into effect last week.
The United States gave Japan a waiver to those sanctions earlier this year after the Asian country reduced its import volumes of Iranian crude…Japan is the only country to date to offer sovereign guarantees on shipments…Japan's biggest buyers of Iranian oil are Showa Shell Sekiyu KK and JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp.." (Reuters, "Exclusive: Japan to import no Iranian oil in July," 7/4/2012)
"Japan has been able to continue with the imports as the country's parliament on Wednesday approved an unprecedented law that allows Tokyo to provide cover of up to $7.6 billion for incidents involving tankers bringing Iranian oil to the country . . . Japan's biggest buyers of Iranian oil, Showa Shell Sekiyu KK (5002.T) and JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp (5020.T), are to load a total of four vessels in June, steady from May, with shipments arriving this month and next, traders said on Wednesday . . ."(Reuters, "Japan, China to import Iran oil after EU Ban," 6/20/12)
"Japan's top oil refiner, JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp, is not facing a problem paying Iran for crude imports, the company said on Thursday, after a major Japanese bank froze transactions with Iranian banks on the order of a U.S. court... A JX Nippon Oil spokesman said there was no problem with payment to Iran at the moment, but declined to discuss other details, including whether it was considering an alternative payment mechanism... Besides JX Nippon, Japan's top buyer of Iranian crude, Showa Shell Sekiyu KK, and Cosmo Oil have already renewed term deals to lift Iranian crude from April, industry sources have said. Only JX and Showa Shell have plans to lift Iranian oil in April and May among the Japanese oil firms, industry sources have said." (The New York Times, "Japan's JX: No Problem With Paying Iran for Oil Now," 5/17/2012)
"Iran is poised to lose at least 192,000 barrels a day of crude-supply contracts, or about 9.5 percent of its global exports, as Asian buyers curb purchases amid western sanctions targeting the nation's oil trade. Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. (MRPL) and Essar Oil Ltd., India's biggest buyers of Iranian crude, and China International United Petroleum & Chemical Co. have reduced or plan to cut purchases from the Islamic Republic by as much as 15 percent. China and India are Iran's largest customers. In Japan, the only Asian country to get an exemption from U.S. sanctions after it demonstrated reductions in purchases, Cosmo Oil Co. plans to cut imports by 25 percent, while JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. suspended talks with the Persian Gulf nation over a 10,000 barrel-a-day contract." (Bloomberg, "Iran May Lose 9.5% of Oil Contracts as Asian Buyers Cut Imports," 5/3/12)
"Japan's top refiner JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp will not be able to continue importing oil from Iran as tightening global sanctions against the Islamic Republic make it tough to pay for, ship and insure the oil, the company's senior executive said. Japan has already drastically cut loading of Iranian crude since April as its refiners cannot rely on the European reinsurance market to cover tankers. Industry sources have said Japanese buyers can no longer import Iran crude from July if the European Union does not grant an exemption from its planned ban on all European reinsurance, including the cover for pollution." (Reuters, "Japan's JX: Iran crude import may stop due to sanction," 4/26/12)
"Japanese refiners will cut Iranian crude imports yet again in April as they shy away from renewing annual contracts, showing continued commitment to U.S.-led sanctions over Tehran's nuclear programme. Japan, the world's third largest oil consumer, has strongly backed calls to cut Iranian oil imports and earlier reductions were hailed by its top business and military ally, the United States, as an example to other countries...JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp, Japan's biggest oil refiner, has not renewed a contract to buy 10,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian crude, which expired in March, the sources said, declining to be identified as they are not authorised to talk to the media. Apart from JX, at least three other Japanese firms, including Idemitsu Kosan Co and Cosmo Oil Co, which together buy around 40,000 barrels per day, will not lift any Iranian crude in April, industry sources said. These three do not lift Iranian oil every month." (Reuters, "Japan refiners deepen Iran crude import cuts," 4/4/12)
"Japan's biggest refiner JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp is talking with top exporter Saudi Arabia and other oil producers to source crude to replace any disruption to its imports from Iran, the company's president said on Thursday... 'We've been talking to Saudi Arabia and others on possible scenarios in the case of an import ban (from Iran),' Yasushi Kimura, president of JX Nippon, the wholly-owned downstream oil subsidiary of JX Holdings Inc, told a group of reporters... JX Nippon buys around 70,000 to 80,000 bpd from Iran, industry sources said." (Reuters, "Japan's JX looks to Saudi for oil on Iran worries," 1/5/2012)
"JAPAN - In 2009, Iran exported about 421,000 bpd of crude to Japan. It was overtaken by Qatar, however, as Japan's third-largest crude supplier. Many of Japan's top refiners buy Iranian crude, including Showa Shell Sekiyu (5002.T), Nippon Oil (5001.T), Japan Energy, Cosmo Oil (5007.T). Trading house Toyota Tsusho (8105.T) also has a deal to buy crude from the Islamic republic." (Reuters, Iran's crude export and fuel import customers, 4/13/2010)