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EghtesadOnline: Japan will continue importing crude oil from the Middle East despite escalating tensions in the Strait of Hormuz, but will also make efforts to diversify supply sources, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko said Tuesday.

"Crude oil procurements from the Middle East will continue to be important, considering economics of oil price and transport costs," Seko said at a press conference in Tokyo, where he was asked whether Japan needs to lower its dependency in the wake of escalating tensions in the Strait of Hormuz, S&P Global reported.

Japanese refiners import bulk of crude oil from the Middle East on VLCCs, but also import crude from other regions typically on smaller Suezmax and Aframax vessels.

Seko, however, added that Japan will continue to try to diversity its crude oil supply sources, which includes efforts to acquire upstream equity assets outside the Middle East, Financial Tribune reported.

Japan's JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy said Tuesday that for the time being, it will continue to import crude oil, which will transit the Strait of Hormuz.

The largest Japanese refiner has said it is considering crude procurements, which will not transit through the Strait of Hormuz, while keeping its core supply from the Middle East.


Japan crude oil Strait of Hormuz Hiroshige Sekō importing tensions Middle East Oil supply sources