Japan sets March 9 for 2nd round of national reserve oil auction


An aerial view shows an oil plant of Idemitsu Kosan Co. in Ichihara, east of Tokyo, Japan November 12, 2021, in this photo taken by Kyodo. Mandatory Credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

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TOKYO, Feb 16 (Reuters) – Japan will hold an auction on March 9 to sell about 1.64 million barrels, or 260,000 kiloliters (kl), of crude oil in a second sale from its reserve national, under a program led by the United States, coordinated release of reserves to curb the rise in prices.

The country’s industry ministry said on Wednesday that the supply, about 110,000 kl to be taken from its Tomakomai-tobu reservoir in northern Japan and about 150,000 kl from Japanese refiner Eneos’ Kiire reservoir (5020.T) in southern Japan, will become available to winning bidders from April 20.

Kiire’s stock is part of the national storage in tanks leased from private companies.

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Japan said in November that it would release “a few hundred thousand kiloliters” of oil in response to a US request, and that the sale would be part of a change in the composition of the types of oil held in the national reserve. Read more

As part of the first round of the coordinated release, the ministry held an auction on Feb. 9 to sell about 100,000 kl, or 628,980 barrels, of crude oil from its reserve. Read more

“This is the second round of planned coordinated releases,” a ministry official told Reuters.

“But we can’t say if there will be more auctions under the coordinated release,” he said.

International oil prices remained above $90 a barrel amid tight global supply and recovering fuel demand.

The US Department of Energy said in January it had approved a swap of 13.4 million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to seven companies as part of President Joe Biden’s efforts to help control oil prices. Read more

The Biden administration announced a plan in November to release up to 50 million barrels from the SPR after oil prices hit seven-year highs. Nearly 40 million barrels had been released in previous trades and a sale of 18 million barrels.

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Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Kenneth Maxwell

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