Japan’s largest refiner JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy is set to resume loading of Iranian crude oil as early as Monday, almost three months after the US sanctions waiver was granted.
According to S&P Global Platts, the VLCC Eneos Breeze is scheduled to arrive at Iran’s Kharg Island Monday to load the cargo.
A JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy spokesman confirmed Monday that it is resuming its Iranian crude oil loading in February. But the spokesman declined to comment on the specific scheduled loading by the Eneos Breeze.
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.
With other refiners planning to resume imports in February, Japan is expected to load about 14 million barrels over January-February, according to Platts calculations based on market information.
That would put Japan’s average Iranian oil imports at 78,000 b/d during the 180-day waiver, down 49% from 153,000 b/d imported over May-October 2018, according to Platts calculations.
Japan is among eight countries with the US’ 180-day waivers allowing them to keep importing Iranian oil through May 4.