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.
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)