Japan lifts volumes in Saudi crude storage deal, extends length
TOKYO Dec 18 (Reuters) - Tokyo has agreed a deal for Saudi Arabia to increase the amount of crude it stores in the Asian nation, Japan's trade ministry said late on Tuesday, extending a move that gives the oil exporter access to a key supply depot close to its largest customers.
The contract, agreed between Saudi Aramco and state-run Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp (JOGMEC), offers storage tank capacity of about 1 million kilolitres (6.3 million barrels) in Okinawa, southwest Japan.
In return for providing free storage space, Japan gets a priority claim on the stockpiles in case of emergency.
The two firms initially entered into a contract in December 2010 for Saudi Aramco to store 600,000 kilolitres (3.8 million barrels) for three years ending December 2013, but that amount has since risen to 800,000 kilolitres, a trade ministry official said.
The new contract, which has agreed to in principle this summer, was signed in Tokyo earlier this week, for an additional three years.
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