TOKYO Dec 18 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
The new contract, which has agreed to in principle this
summer, was signed in Tokyo earlier this week, for an additional
Saudi Aramco started storing crude in Okinawa from February
2011, and has used the facility to supply petroleum to China,
Japan and South Korea.
(Reporting by James Topham; Editing by Joseph Radford)