Siberian oil will be delivered to Japan on December 30-31 for the first time after the 25-year-long break. Japan first imported oil from Siberia in 1978 to relieve the hard energy crisis known as "the oil shock".
This time, Shin-Nihon Sekiyu, a major Japanese oil company, decided to buy a batch of Russian oil on spot terms owing to the situation around Iraq. According to a staff member of this firm, "the price of Middle East oil has significantly grown and became almost equal to that of Siberia, so we decided to export a batch of raw oil from Russia. This decision was not politicized." According to him, a tanker will deliver 17,000 barrels of Russian oil from Novorossiisk to Japan on the New Year eve. "So far, we have no particular plans of new procurements in Russia but we can take prompt decisions according to the situation on the world market," a Shin-Nihon Sekiyu representative said.
This year, his company imports about 1,000,000 barrels daily, and spot deals account for the supply of about 200,000 barrels of oil a day.
Japanese minister of economy Takeo Hiranuma had previously told RIA Novosti that in 2001, Japan exported over 2 million barrels from the Russian Sakhalin for the first time. "We will continue to buy Russian oil for the sake of diversification of energy sources, if supplies remain stable," he said.