Oil Stockpiling Best Practices in Japan

The ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) participated in the Energy Security Capacity Building on Oil and Gas held on 6-7 March 2018 in Fukuoka, Japan. The capacity building was attended by relevant Ministries’ representatives from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Also, in attendance were key officials and representatives of the ASEAN Council on Petroleum, International Energy Agency, Japan Oil Gas and Metal National Corporation (JOGMEC) and Ministry of Energy and Industry (METI) of Japan.

ACE presented the status and overview of oil stockpiling development in ASEAN, discussed several parameters such as policy, infrastructure, current stock standards and the responsible bodies for stockpiling operation. The International Energy Agency (IEA) stated that Southeast Asia plays an increasingly prominent role in LNG market, benefiting in the short-term from the global price decrease. The use of LNG extends to smaller scale projects and plays an important role in replacing diesel-based generation in some island communities. Apart from the mounting import bill, the region’s increasing dependence on imported energy raises significant energy security concerns.

The participants learned the latest  development and implementation of oil stockpiling in Japan shared by high level officials from METI and JOGMEC. Currently, Japan has constructed 10 national oil stockpiles sites and collaborates with the private sector to meet their oil stockpiling target. The  capacity of Japan’s national and private stocks totals to 500 million barrels which cover 186 days of oil demand. Japan’s national oil stockpiling system has been in operation  since 1978 in response to the global oil crisis. To date,  Japan has released 5 (five) times its private stocks to address the emergency demand for the second oil crisis, the Gulf War, Hurricane Katrina, Japan great earthquake, and instability in Libya.

Site visit to Shirasima. Credit: JOGMEC

The participants visited Shirashima national oil stockpiling on the second day. The facility was constructed in 1996 as the world’s largest offshore floating oil stockpiling. The total capacity of storage is 5.6 Million kiloliters. The facility has 7 oil tanks which are isolated by water seal to prevent leakage and explosion. All participants appreciated METI and JOGMEC for sharing the reference of oil stockpiling development and technology during the visit. (SBS)