Saudi Aramco renews Okinawa crude oil storage deal

Mr. Sulaiman Ababtain, Crude Oil Sales & Marketing Department Manager from Saudi Aramco and Mr. Masatoshi Watanabe, Executive Director, Member of the Board of JOGMEC shake hands after signing the renewed agreement.

A signing ceremony for a three-year extension of the Okinawa Commercial Crude Oil Storage Agreement between Saudi Aramco and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) took place at Okinawa CTS (Central Terminal Station of oil) Corporation on December 7th as an execution to the MOC signed by HE Mr. Khalid Al-Falih during the HRH Deputy Crown Prince visit to Japan in September 2016.

It was attended by over 40 participants from Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), JOGMEC, Okinawa local government, as well as two parent companies of Okinawa CTS Corporation, which are JX Nippon Oil & Energy and Cosmo Oil.

In the presence of Mr. Hidemasa Nishiyama, Director of Petroleum Refining & Reserve Division of Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, Mr. Sulaiman Ababtain, Manager, Crude Oil Sales & Marketing Department from Saudi Aramco and Mr. Masatoshi Watanabe, Executive Director and Member of the Board of JOGMEC signed the deal.

This new business model and its operation have also greatly contributed to fostering friendship between Saudi Aramco and Okinawa and their citizens. Saudi Aramco and Aramco Asia Japan are working together with Okinawa Coral Reef Conservation Consortium, a very active local entity in efforts to ensure future for the endangered coral reefs around Okinawa. Additional support to academic institutes such as Okinawa Institute of Science & Technology (OIST) and University of the Ryukyus have been also extended for protecting and improving the local marine environment, very vital treasure of Okinawa islands.

In his speech, Mr. Ababtain expressed appreciation to all concerned parties who supported to realize this renewal of the agreement, and to further contribute to the short-haul crude supply needs from Okinawa to the region.

This Okinawa project was initiated in April 2007 when then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe paid an official visit to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Aramco began the operation in 2011. Since then, the terminal, located on the east coast of Japan's Okinawa Island, has established itself as a very important strategic crude supply point for this region with nontraditional short-haul supply accesses to cater needs from major consuming countries in the East Asia.