Japan hoping to renew oil and gas deal with UAE

The 2011 earthquake has seen Japanese nuclear plants close and the country increase its reliance on oil and gas. (Image source: Kawamoto Takuo, Wikimedia Commons)The 2011 earthquake has seen Japanese nuclear plants close and the country increase its reliance on oil and gas. (Image source: Kawamoto Takuo, Wikimedia Commons)With a nuclear cooperation and technology transfer deal signed recently between the two countries, Japan has told the UAE that it would like to renew its oil and gas concession beyond the current 2018 expiry date

Japan is hoping that by sharing its nuclear knowhow with the UAE and Saudi Arabia, its two main oil providers, it will be able to guarantee longer term oil supplies from them.

The move comes as Japan has reduced its oil imports from Iran and seen gas demand soar due to the closure of many of its nuclear power plants following the damage to the Fukushima plant caused by the major earthquake in 2011.

"We have reduced imports over five years by 40 per cent from Iran because of US sanctions," a Japanese foreign spokesman was reported as saying by Reuters during a visit to Abu Dhabi by Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe.

The spokesman, who said that over 80 per cent of Japan's oil imports are from the Middle East, revealed that Abe had asked the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi for an extension to Japanese Oil Development's 12 per cent stake in the Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO), which is due to expire in 2018.

A Japanese trade delegation offered to assist Saudi Arabia in February to build nuclear plants, and therefore conserve oil, and a group of Japanese banks recently loaned Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) US$3bn.

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