Japan doubles oil imports from Russia
Imports of crude from Russia to Japan more than doubled in February compared to the previous month, according to the latest report by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
In February, exports of Russian Sokol crude to Japan grew to 223,000 kiloliters from 112,000 kiloliters in January, while crude deliveries from the ESPO (Eastern Siberian Pacific Ocean) pipeline increased by 35 percent month-on-month to 355,000 kiloliters. At the same time, Japan purchased 379,000 kiloliters of Sakhalin crude oil, which is four-and-a-half times more than during the previous month.
According to the ministry, total imports of Russian crude had declined year-on-year. In February, Japan bought some 466,000 kiloliters of oil from Russia compared to 1.27 million kiloliters a year ago.
A colder-than-normal winter in Japan has seen imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) increase to 8.3 million metric tons, with higher volumes from Australia and Indonesia.
Sokol is a grade of light, sweet crude produced on Sakhalin Island in Russia's Far East. The Sakhalin-1 project is operated by a consortium, which includes Russia’s Rosneft, American ExxonMobile, Japan’s Sakhalin Oil & Gas Development and Indian ONGC. Oil and gas is pumped on Sakhalin Island and immediately offshore.
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