|19 September, 2019

Saudi Aramco confirms Oct loading to Japan Petroleum Association -PAJ head

The head of PAJ Takashi Tsukioka said that the head of Saudi Aramco's local operations had visited the association on Wednesday

FILE PHOTO: Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia, May 21, 2018. Image used for illustrative purpose

FILE PHOTO: Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia, May 21, 2018. Image used for illustrative purpose

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah/File Photo

TOKYO  - The head of Saudi Aramco's Japanese unit has assured the Petroleum Association of Japan (PAJ) that it would fulfil its supply contracts with Japanese customers, confirming all October loadings, the President of PAJ said.

The head of PAJ Takashi Tsukioka, who also serves as chairman of Idemitsu Kosan, said at a news conference the head of Saudi Aramco's local operations had visited the association on Wednesday.

"I heard some customers have been asked to switch oil grades but Idemitsu received a confirmation by Saudi Aramco on the October loading without any switching of oil grades," Tsukioka said.

An attack on state-owned producer Saudi Aramco's crude-processing facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais initially cut output by 5.7 million barrels per day and threw into question its ability to maintain oil exports.

"We were worried whether or not loading at Saudi Arabia could continue after the attack to Saudi Arabian oil facilities last week, but loading has resumed after a few days of delays, which eliminated our supply concerns," Tsukioka said.

He added that Idemitsu is planning to increase oil procurement next year from the United States and Russia where there is extra production capacity to cut dependence on the Middle East, but nothing has been decided.

Oil prices edged higher in early Asian trade on Thursday after days of turbulence, with markets soothed by Saudi Arabia's pledge to restore full production by end-September at facilities knocked out in drone and missile attacks last weekend.

(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi Editing by Chang-Ran Kim) ((ran.kim@thomsonreuters.com; +81-3-6441-1804;))

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