Thursday, March 16, 2006

Japan's Nippon Oil Cuts Oil Imports from Iran
Nippon Oil Corp said it will slash its imports from Iran by 15 pct, in part because of the international confrontation over Iran's nuclear program. However, Nippon Oil said it is not planning a drastic change in policy towards Iran, which is Japan's third biggest source of oil. READ MORE

Nippon Oil's imports from Iran will decrease by 15 pct this year as a result of a change in brokers, a company spokesman said.

'One major reason was there was trouble with the previous broker, but the risk of Iran's nuclear program was also considered when changing the broker,' the spokesman said.

In spite of its confrontation with the West over its nuclear program, Iran has stressed that it plans to remain a stable producer of oil.

Nippon Oil president Fumiaki Watari visited the Middle East last week and assessed that Iran would not stop oil exports, the spokesman said.

'Trade between Iran and our company will never decrease. It could increase in the future,' Watari was quoted as saying by the spokesman.

Nippon Oil said it would buy more oil from Arab countries, particularly Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Japan is Iran's biggest oil customer, buying one-quarter of its output.