Japan's Cosmo to load Iranian oil in early March

February 26, 2019

TEHRAN- Japanese refiner Cosmo Oil will load around 900,000 barrels of Iranian Heavy crude oil in early March.

This loading will come as local refiners are rushing to lift as much barrels from Iran during the current 180-day U.S. sanctions waivers, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told S&P Global Platts on Tuesday.
Cosmo Oil is now scheduled to load around 900,000 barrels of Iranian Heavy crude on a VLCC around March 4-5 and discharge the cargo in Japan around March 27-28.
Japan is among the eight countries with the U.S.’s 180-day waivers allowing them to keep importing Iranian oil through May 4. Confusion surrounding shipping, insurance and banking rules under the U.S. sanctions kept some of the countries from resuming imports for months after the U.S. granted waivers on November 5.
On February 3, S&P Global Platts reported that Japan's largest refiner JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy was set to resume loading of Iranian crude oil as early as Monday (February 4), almost three months after the U.S. sanctions waiver was granted.
The same day, a JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy spokesman confirmed that the refiner is resuming its Iranian crude oil loading in February.
JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy is the fourth Japanese refiner to resume Iranian oil loading, after Showa Shell, Fuji Oil and Cosmo Oil resumed crude oil loading from Iran in January - the first in four months - totaling around 4.9 million barrels.
Last week, Japan’s new ambassador to Tehran said his country will continue importing oil from Iran, the portal of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) published.
Dismissing rumors that Japan would stop buying Iran’s oil, Mitsugu Saito said his country’s policy is to continue oil imports from Iran.
Cementing economic ties between the two countries is Japan’s first priority regarding its relations with Iran, the ambassador noted and said that presence of Japanese companies in Iran despite the U.S. re-imposition of sanctions against the Islamic Republic highlights the significance of Tokyo’s relationship with Tehran.
MA/MA

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