Fuji Oil loads Iran crude, first cargo bound for Japan since US sanctions waiver

TEHRAN, Jan. 21 (MNA) – Fuji Oil has loaded Iranian crude oil, the first cargo being lifted by the Japanese refiner since the country won a 180-day waiver from the US to import oil from Iran, a company official told S&P Global Platts Monday.

The move also marks Japan's first loading of Iranian crude since the country won the 180-day waiver from the US on November 5.

S&P Global Platts trade flow software cFlow also showed that the cargo-laden VLCC Kisogawa left Iran's Kharg Island Sunday bound for Sodegaura, Tokyo Bay.

Fuji Oil, a Showa Shell group company, is one of Japan's major Iranian crude buyers. Fuji Oil, in which Showa Shell has a 6.57% stake, operates the sole 143,000 b/d Sodegaura refinery.

Fuji Oil's loading of Iranian crude comes after Platts reported on January 15 that major Japanese banks are set to resume Iranian oil transactions after receiving final regulatory clearance, paving the way for the country's refiners to begin loadings as early as this month.

Japanese refiners and shipping companies recently resolved their concerns over relevant shipping insurance for Iranian imports and were awaiting bank and regulatory approval before resuming inflows.

Japan did not import any crude from Iran in November. The country last recorded zero Iranian oil imports in July 2012 during the last international sanctions against Tehran. There was a brief suspension of loadings from Iran until the introduction of government-backed shipping insurance for protection and indemnity cover.

MNA/S&P Global

News Code 141733

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