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Aramco deals with Japan on Okinawa oil depots

Date Posted: 2009-12-03

Saudi Arabia’s Aramco Oil Company is already utilizing oil storage facilities on Okinawa, and is now negotiating with the Japanese government for a more long term, official relationship.

Aramco’s oil storage plan in Okinawa was first presented to former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2007, and quickly approved. The giant oil company began storing crude oil on the Okinawa depot, located in Uruma City’s Yonashiro Henza area. The plan has worked so well, the Japanese government and Saudi Aramco are reviewing Aramco’s oil export operations across Asia, and proposing even more storage on Okinawa.

Equally important in the deal, the Japanese government is working negotiations that Japan gets the first crack at the oil staged here in the event of a crisis. Saudi Aramco’s president and CEO, Khalid A. Al-Falih, and other directors were in Okinawa the past week surveying the depot and discussing expansion.

If the Saudi Aramco plan works, Japan is prepared to work also with Petrobras, the semi-public Brazilian oil company. Petrobras has already accomplished a buy-out of an Okinawan-owned company, Okinawa Nansei Oil Company. If all goes according to Japanese government plans, the two companies will work together in bringing oil into Okinawa for storage and staging, then export to other countries.

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