Kuwait ready to boost crude supply to Japan

TOKYO - Kuwait is willing to increase its supply of crude oil to Japan, a Japanese trade official said yesterday, quoting Kuwaiti oil minister Shaikh Ahmad Al Fahd Al Sabah. The Kuwaiti minister made the remarks at a meeting with Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Shoichi Nakagawa.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Tue 13 Jul 2004, 10:42 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:58 AM

"The energy minister told the (trade) minister that it would be possible to further raise supply volumes if Japan wishes," Hirofumi Katase, an official at Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, told reporters after the meeting. "We did not talk about specific figures," he said when asked about the volumes.

Kuwait supplied around 7.67 million barrels of crude to Japan in May, accounting for about 6.4 per cent of Japan's total oil needs and making it the fifth-biggest crude supplier to the world's second-biggest oil importer.

Kuwait is backing a rise in Opec's official output limits when the producers' group meet on July 21 in Vienna.

The Kuwaiti oil minister told Reuters on Saturday that Opec would also discuss a further rise above the planned 500,000 bpd from August 1. However, while other Middle East producers were expected to provide full contract volumes to Asian buyers in August, Kuwait had told its term lifters it would supply its customers with eight to nine per cent below full volumes in the third quarter. Still traders said Kuwait had been ramping up production and might also be able to supply higher volumes. Shaikh Ahmad said over the weekend Kuwait had produced about 2.35 million bpd in June and that its output could reach 2.8 million bpd by the end of the year. The oil minister is part of a Kuwaiti delegation visiting four Asian countries - China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore - to court investments.

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