TOKYO: Japan will renew oil imports from the United States after US Congress lifted a 40-year export ban last month, Japanese media reported Tuesday, according to Sputnik News.
The crude export ban was attached to a 2016 omnibus spending bill, which President Barack Obama signed into law on December 18. Some North Dakotan oil producers may go out of business as the new investment environment suggests they will have to pay to have some of their output shipped away.
Japan’s Cosmo Energy Holdings plans to spend an equivalent of $8.47 million to ship US crude oil in mid-February, the Nikkei business daily said. In mid-April, some 300,000 barrels of US oil is planned to be refined in Japan.
Instability from Middle Eastern exporters, underscored by the Saudi-Iranian diplomatic standoff, forces Tokyo to seek other sources. Wholesalers in Japan are estimated to use some 3.9 million barrels of crude daily to produce gasoline, gas oil and other products, according to the publication. The removal of the US oil export ban was in part influenced by the growth of domestic production.