TOKYO, January 21 (Itar-Tass) — The tanker Diamond Aspire delivered the first batch of oil, which was pumped through the second stage of the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline system, to Japan on Monday. The vessel flying the flag of Singapore carried 100,000 tons of oil. Now it is being unloaded in the port of Kashima in the Prefecture of Ibaraki in the north-east of Honshu Island, informed sources told ITAR-TASS.
In December 2012, the construction of the strategic export ESPO pipeline was completed. Its last point is the newest oil port in the Bay of Kozmino in the area of Nakhodka. Until this moment, oil for clients in the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, was pumped through pipes only till Skovorodino in the Amur Region from where it was delivered to the port of Kozmino by railway and then loaded in tankers.
The way from there to Japan’s ports occupies about 48 hours. At the same time, Japan receives 80 percent of consumed oil from the Middle East. It takes tankers, which are under the threat of pirates’ attacks in the area of Arica and the Strait of Malacca, several weeks to reach Japan from there. Therefore, importers show growing interest here in ESPO products, the more so, as East-Siberian oil is of high quality. According to experts, Japan will purchase at least 30 percent of oil coming to Kozmino through the pipeline.