Japan boosts imports of Russian LNG, crude oil
By MARI IWATA
TOKYO -- Japan increased its reliance on Russia for its fossil fuel imports in 2012, as the Asian country, which is experiencing continuous outage of nuclear power, bought more hydrocarbons from the energy-producing giant to operate its thermal power stations at full capacity.
Japan's imports of liquefied natural gas from Russia rose 17% to 8.3 million metric tons last year, while its imports of Russian crude oil increased 10% to 10.02 million kiloliters, or about 172,000 bpd, the Ministry of finance said Wednesday.
Japan also imported 8.12 million tons of thermal coal from Russia in 2012, up 8.1% from the previous year, MOF said.
Russia has been targeted by Japan as a key energy supplier because of its rich hydrocarbon reserves in East Siberia and proximity.
To diversify its customer base away from Europe, Russia is expanding its infrastructure to support its energy exports to Asia.
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