TOKYO-Japan has no plans to begin using its
strategic oil reserves, and instead will look toward energy conservation efforts to ease the effects of suring oil prices, a top Japanese trade ministry official said Thursday, according to AP.
"Looking at the domestic oil market, we don”t see supply tightening for crude oil … and we don”t plan to hold talks with the IEA (International Energy Agency, an oil market watchdog) on releasing oil reserves (into the market)," Hideji Sugiyama, Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, told a news conference.
As of May 31, the Japanese government held 50.99 million kiloliters, or 320.7 million barrels, of state-owned crude stocks to guard against supply disruptions.
Oil prices rose on Thursday to a record US$65.23 a barrel in Asian electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange on concerns about tight gasoline supplies amid refinery shutdowns in the United States and tensions between Iran, a major oil producer, and Western countries.