By Alexander Miller, consultant in energy markets. Eurasia Business News, August 17, 2022

Japan resumed oil imports from Russia in July, after stopping them in early June.

The volume of Russian oil purchases by Japan decreased by 65% by July 2021, follows from the data of the Ministry of Finance of Japan. In January-July, the indicator decreased by 21.7%. The volume of supplies of liquefied natural gas decreased by July 2021 by 26.1%. Also, the supply of coal (40.1%), ore (84.9%), grain (73.1%), vegetables (60.6%) decreased. Imports of fish and fish products increased by 21.7%.

Overall, imports from Russia rose to 174 billion yen ($1.3 billion), up 31%. Exports fell 49.5% to 40.7 billion yen ($303 million). In value terms, imports of mineral fuels to Japan as a whole increased by 45.1% amid rising energy prices.

On August 17, it was reported that a number of Japanese companies received an official notification from Russia about the transfer of the Sakhalin-2 project to a new operator.

A decree of the Russian president Vladimir Putin on the establishment of a limited liability company (LLC), which will retain the rights and obligations of Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd. (Sakhalin Energy), was made public on June 30.

On the news about the change of the operator of the oil and gas project, the Japanese reacted sharply. At the same time, Japan announced plans to retain the rights to participate in Sakhalin-2 project.

The place of resolution of disputes under the production sharing agreement (PSA) for Sakhalin-2 project is determined by the Moscow Arbitration Court. All employees of the current operator Sakhalin-2 should be transferred to the structure of the new operator, and foreign shareholders of the current operator Sakhalin-2 will be able to receive funds from the sale of its share through a special account.

On June 7, Japan announced its desire to maintain the participation of Japanese companies in the Russian oil and gas projects Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2, as they are significant for the country’s economic security.

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