TOKYO Dec 27 Japan's top oil refiner Nippon Oil
Corp 5001.T has become the first Japanese company to sign a
contract with New Zealand, which would give the country the
option to purchase petroleum in the event of an emergency, the
company said on Thursday.
New Zealand said last week it had secured additional oil
supplies via tender to meet its emergency reserves target set by
the International Energy Agency (IEA) for next year.
Additional reserves secured in Australia, Japan and the
Netherlands through tenders are held under ticket contracts to
meet the IEA obligation to hold 90 days in stock, New Zealand
says. It said last week the tickets are for 285,000 tonnes of
crude oil, petrol and diesel for 2008 and cost $5 million.
Nippon Oil said it sold an option for 115,740 tonnes of
Middle East sour Oman crude for 2008.
New Zealand already held tickets for 2008, secured last
year, amounting to 170,000 tonnes of petrol and diesel.
New Zealand's 90 days reserves total for next year is 1.2
million tonnes, down 14 percent on 2007 because of increased
domestic production from the Pohokura and Tui fields.
Agreements with Australia, Japan, Britain and the
Netherlands allow New Zealand to acquire supplies through the
ticket system and for host governments not to impede the release
of stocks in the event of an emergency.
(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori)