Tokyo, Dec. 27 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government said Monday that it will release about 100,000 kiloliters of its state oil reserves, or one-third of Japan’s daily oil consumption, in response to elevated oil prices.
The government will hold an auction on Feb. 9 for the oil, to be released from the Shibushi storage base in the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima. The oil is expected to be delivered between March 20 and June 30.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is considering releasing a total of several hundred thousand kiloliters, including the 100,000 kiloliters, from the state reserves as part of a U.S.-led internationally coordinated oil release.
It is the first time for Japan to tap its oil reserves in a bid to keep oil prices from rising. As the country’s oil stockpiling law does not mention such a release, the government plans to conduct the sale in the name of rebalancing its oil portfolio.
Crude oil markets are calm at the moment, amid the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus and following a decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major oil producing countries to maintain a small output increase in January.
Meanwhile, gasoline and other fuel prices remain high.