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Japan to release petroleum reserves if needed: METI minister

Tokyo — Japan will consider releasing petroleum reserves into oil markets, if needed, in coordination with the International Energy Agency and other countries to ensure sufficient supplies, following attacks at oil facilities in Saudi Arabia Saturday, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Isshu Sugawara said in a statement Monday.

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METI is currently assessing the potential impact on stable oil supply to Japan by closely monitoring oil market situations, and the ministry will act accordingly, said Sugawara, adding that the country currently has petroleum reserves worth more than 230 days of its consumption.

Japan's exposure to Saudi Arabian oil supplies is significant because it had imported an average of 1.11 million b/d of crude in the January-July period, accounting for about 36% of the total oil imports, according to METI data.

Saudi Arabia confirmed over the weekend the temporary loss of 5.7 million b/d of oil production after disruption at its facilities, but said export customers would continue to be supplied from inventories. Abqaiq is the most important processing facility in Saudi oil industry, while Khurais is the second biggest oil field.

-- Takeo Kumagai,

-- Edited by Kshitiz Goliya,