Japanese Firms Continue Purchasing Iranian Oil as Tokyo Says Crude Imports Untouched

The Japanese firm Cosmo Oil has become the latest Japanese refiner to start loading crude oil cargo from Iran, as Japanese Officials vow crude imports from Iran will be untouched despite US sanctions.

The firm commenced loading 850,000 barrels of Iranian crude -200,000 barrels of Iranian Light and 650,000 barrels of Iranian Heavy – at Iran’s Kharg Island on Monday, sources told S&P Global Platts Monday.

The company joins other Japanese refiners who have continued importing oil from Iran, over two months after the US sanctions waiver was granted.

The cargo will arrive in Japan at the end of February, following its expected departure from Kharg Island on Tuesday, the source added.

A spokesman at parent Cosmo Energy Holdings declined to comment Monday.

Cosmo Oil’s commencement of Iranian crude oil loading comes after Japanese refiners Fuji Oil and Showa Shell – Japan’s main buyers of Iranian crude – fully loaded two ships with Iranian crude recently.

Japanese refiners resumed loading Iranian crude after major Japanese banks were set to resume Iranian oil transactions after receiving final regulatory clearance, paving the way for the country’s refiners to begin loadings as early as this month.

Also, Japanese refiners and shipping companies had recently resolved their concerns over relevant shipping insurance for Iranian imports, and were awaiting bank and regulatory approval before resuming inflows.

Japan did not import any crude from Iran in November. The country last recorded zero Iranian oil imports in July 2012 during the last international sanctions against Tehran.

 

Japan to Keep Up Buying Iran Oil

Meanwhile, the Japanese ambassador to Iran said the country’s oil imports from Iran will remain unchanged.

Speaking to Iran Daily this week, Mitsuo Saito said as a country with enormous oil and gas resources in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, Iran is a valuable source of energy to Japan which requires the country to meet its needs.

Tokyo attaches great importance to its relations with Tehran, and, thus, it held serious talks with the US to continue its oil imports from the Middle Eastern country, he noted.

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