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Japanese refiner renews contract with Iran

April 20, 2012 at 8:39 AM

TOKYO, April 20 (UPI) -- Japanese refiner Cosmo Oil renewed a contract with Iran though the import volumes won't jeopardize its agreements with Washington, an official said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced last month that 10 European countries and Japan were exempt from U.S. sanctions on Tehran because of decisions to "significantly" reduce the amount of oil they import from Iran.

Refineries in Japan were expected to get around 300,000 barrels of Iranian crude oil in April in line with deliveries for the first three months of 2012.

Cosmo Oil renewed its contract with the National Iranian Oil Co. but at levels lower than March to protect itself from U.S. sanctions, officials close to the matter told the Platts news service Friday.

Cosmo Oil last year imported, on average, 36,000 barrels of Iranian crude oil per day. Platts reports that new contracts between Japanese and Iranian companies include force majeure clauses that project Japanese buyers in the event vessels to transport Iranian crude oil aren't available.

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