(Corrects headline, first paragraph and quote to show that
JOGMEC president meant Japan could double its self-sufficiency
ratio of oil and gas, not that it would double investment)
TOKYO, June 19 State-run Japan Oil, Gas and
Metals National Corp (JOGMEC) could accelerate its investment in
oil and gas resources in the long term, as it looks to ensure
stable commodity supplies for the world's No.3 economy.
President Hirobumi Kawano told Reuters that JOGMEC would in
particular focus on boosting its investment in liquefied natural
gas assets, with Japanese appetite for the fuel rocketing
following the shutdown of all the country's nuclear reactors in
the wake of the Fukushima crisis.
Japanese government had previously set a goal to boost the
country's self-sufficiency ratio of oil and gas to 40 percent by
2030 from around 20 percent although the target is currently
under the review.
"If our projects become successful, it would not be
surprising for that to double (to 40 percent)," Kawano said on
He declined to give specific investment plans for the
The agency, set up in 2004 to help secure fuel for
resource-poor Japan, currently directly invests in or provides
financial guarantees for about 50 oil and gas projects worth a
total of more than 1 trillion yen ($9.8 billion), including
shale gas in North America.
Japanese imports of LNG hit a record 87.5 million tonnes in
2013, with government data through May suggesting this year's
level could be even higher.
Kawano said that JOGMEC would continue to support Japanese
energy companies as they look to compete with overseas rivals.
"We are not a commercial institution and have no intention
of becoming a resource major. Our role, however, is to help
Japanese upstream companies grow to be able to compete with
Mitsui & Co's president said earlier this week that
it would consider taking majority stakes in large projects
rather than just participating as a minority owner, a strategic
shift the Japanese trader is eyeing to preserve growth in its
($1 = 102.0500 Japanese Yen)
(Reporting by James Topham and Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Joseph