May 15, 2019 / 12:16 PM / 2 months ago

Japan's Idemitsu sees no supply disruption from Iranian oil sanctions

TOKYO, May 15 (Reuters) -

* Japan’s No.2 oil refiner Idemitsu Kosan Co is not expecting any supply disruption as it is getting alternative supplies from the Middle East and others to replace sanctions-hit Iranian oil, an executive said on Wednesday.

* “We don’t have any problem with securing alternative supplies since Iranian oil accounted for less than 10 percent of our total supply,” Noriaki Sakai, Idemitsu’s general manager of finance department, told a news conference.

* “We have not picked any particular countries to buy alternative supplies for Iranian oil, but we have a wide range of sources and we are selecting where and when to buy alternative crude depending on prices and seasonal demand,” he said, citing that Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait are among the top list of oil producers that have extra output capacity.

* Japanese refiners are tapping more oil from the Middle East after the United States ended all waivers from sanctions on Iran starting from this month.

* Idemitsu, which owns stakes in coal mines and trades the fuel, aims to raise the ratio of non-fossil-fuel business in the long run, but plans to continue supplying coal to Japan and Southeast countries where there is demand while improving fuel efficiency to reduce CO2 emissions, Sakai said.

* “Still, given global pressure against coal, how we deal with our coal business is one of the big issues to be considered by our new board members,” he said. Idemitsu formally took over its smaller peer Showa Shell Sekiyu in April.

Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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