EghtesadOnline: Japanese refiners are seeking clarity on whether there will be an extension to the 180-day sanctions waiver from Washington in March, as they hope to continue buying Iranian oil without any disruption, Petroleum Association of Japan's president Takashi Tsukioka said Friday.
Speaking at a press conference in Tokyo, Tsukioka said that the Japanese refiners are planning to load Iranian crude by March, as well as considering their options beyond May, S&P Global Platts reported.
In the absence of clarity over the extension of the US sanctions waiver in March, Tsukioka said the refiners' lifting of Iranian oil would stop in April.
"It would be best to have clarity over the sanctions waivers by the end of March," Tsukioka said. "If decided in March, we will be able to continue loading Iranian oil."
According to Financial Tribune, Tsukioka also added that Japanese refiners would continue to buy spot Iranian oil whether or not their term contracts are renewed if the sanctions waiver is granted.
Showa Shell, Fuji Oil and Cosmo Oil were the first Japanese refiners to resume Iranian crude loadings in January -- the first in four months -- totaling around 4.9 million barrels.
This was followed by JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy resuming loadings in early February. Idemitsu Kosan has also said it intends to resume its purchases of Iranian crude oil during the current US sanctions waiver.