energy industry

US never pressured Japan to exit Sakhalin energy projects – minister

Reuters
US never pressured Japan to exit Sakhalin energy projects – minister

LNG. A Japanese-made liquefied natural gas carrier is anchored near an LNG plant on Sakhalin island near the town of Korsakov, Russia, February 18, 2009.

Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

The Ukraine crisis puts Japan's involvement in the Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 oil and gas projects in sharp focus

TOKYO, Japan – Japan has never felt any pressure from the United States to exit oil and gas projects on Russia‘s Sakhalin island in which Japanese companies own stakes, the industry minister said on Tuesday, April 12.

“We intend to continue to hold the concessions in Sakhalin 1 and 2 projects as they are stable sources of long-term and inexpensive energy and are important to the lives of the Japanese citizens and business activities,” Koichi Hagiuda, Japan’s industry minister, told a news conference.

“I have never felt any pressure by the United States to withdraw from the Sakhalin projects,” Hagiuda said when asked about any US pressure.

The United States understands the importance of energy security based on the circumstances of each country, he said.

The Ukraine crisis has put Japan’s involvement in the Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 oil and gas projects in sharp focus since Western oil majors have said they would pull out of Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. Russia calls its actions there a “special military operation.”

“While ensuring a stable energy supply, Japan will work to reduce our dependence on Russian energy by diversifying energy sources, including renewable and nuclear power, and diversifying supply sources,” Hagiuda said.

He also said the ministry was not aware of any Japanese companies being asked by Russian state-owned companies to pay in roubles for natural gas transactions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned Europe it risks having gas supplies cut unless it pays in roubles as he seeks retaliation over Western sanctions for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. – Rappler.com

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