Posts Tagged ‘Japan’

The same and yet different paths of Japan and Australia’s oil product imports

Japan and Australia are increasingly importing more oil products as a result of a series of refinery closures in their respective countries.

On the surface, the consequences of the drop in refining capacity in the two countries look similar in the short term. But fundamentally, the two nations are taking different routes for energy security.

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India’s gas pricing dilemma: A ‘Modi’cum of liberalization?

The new Narendra Modi government in New Delhi prolonged the suspense this week over what tack it will take on the controversial domestic gas pricing issue.

It had been expected to signal which way it is inclined ahead of a September 30 deadline to announce its final decision on gas prices.

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Regional price spreads: predicting the future of LNG

On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami devastated a large portion of Japan’s eastern coastline killing nearly 16,000 people and causing infrastructure damage estimated at more than $225 billion. The consequent nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Power Plant ultimately resulted in the closure of all of Japan’s nearly 50 nuclear reactors.

In a move to compensate for lost electric generation capacity, Japanese imports of LNG jumped nearly 23% to 86.7 million mt during the 2012-2013 fiscal year, up from imports that totaled 70.6 million mt during the fiscal year just prior to the disaster.

The precipitous jump in demand for LNG from post-Fukushima Japan changed the global gas market irrevocably. Since March 2011, spot Asian gas prices have averaged roughly $15.65/MMBtu compared to prices that trended around $7.00/MMBtu during the two-year period from 2009-2011.

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Japan enters a new stage of shale oil drilling

At 10:50 am on May 23, a drilling pipe was gradually and quietly spinning downward and reaching a depth of around 25 meters when I got on the platform of a 50-meter high drilling rig in search of shale oil.

The scene like this may not be too unusual in Texas but this was happening in Akita, about 600 km north of Tokyo. That’s where Japan Petroleum Exploration started its horizontal drilling project just 80 minutes prior to my arrival on the platform.

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Report from Fukushima: lots of cleanup to do, not enough workers to do it

The sudden arrival of a battered Toyota and its three occupants at our place last week underscores the problems Japanese construction steel producers face.

I’m back from a quick trip home. It’s in a once pristine corner of rural Fukushima, just outside the 20km exclusion zone around the crippled Daiichi nuclear plant. The back roads were busier this time, and more lights peeked from distant farm houses.

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Japan eyes new business opportunity from Fukushima experience

On a sunny morning last Sunday, a large group of people gathered in Tokyo in a park near the parliament and other government buildings to hear musicians stage performances powered only by solar energy. That was not, however, the main aim.

The people, numbering thousands according to media reports, were protesting against nuclear power plants in Japan in the wake of the Fukushima disaster triggered by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11 three years ago.

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Mexico looks for new places to sell its oil

The first domino of what could be a new page in the shifting international crude market fell in late February when Cosmo Oil imported a cargo of Mexican crude to its refinery in Japan.

This seemingly insignificant transaction actually tells yet one more story in the larger tale about the changes in crude exports, especially for countries that once had a firm grasp on the US marketplace.

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Japan’s long-term LPG plans got a bit thrown off this winter

Two recent developments have led Japan to realize that US supplies of LPG may not always be cheaper than supplies from the Persian Gulf, or as available, throwing into some question a strategy to access more US-produced LPG in the future.

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Energy Economist: The burden that Japan is facing in its higher energy costs

Energy costs in Japan are reaching a critical point. The economy is growing too slowly to offset the burden of increased commodity energy imports. Renewables will add further costs. Bringing the country’s nuclear capacity back on-line appears to be the only option, but the process is proving slow. As it progresses, Japanese oil imports will fall, but LNG and coal usage in fiscal 2014 are still expected to reach historic highs. Ross McCracken looks at the issue in this month’s entry to The Barrel from Platts Energy Economist.

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Japan’s old but fresh debate on third-party access at its LNG terminals

Japan has opened a public debate for the first time in more than a decade about whether to have clearer rules about third -party access to LNG terminals.

But it remains unclear whether the world’s largest LNG importer expects there will even be such demand for the third-party access at the country’s 31 import terminals.

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