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TEHERAN, January 10. /TASS/. Iran plans to double its oil exports to Japan after international sanctions are lifted, Mehr News Agency said on Sunday.
"It has been estimated that oil exports to Japan will increase twofold once the international sanctions are nullified," the agency said.
Seyed Mohsen Ghamsari, Executive Director for International Affairs at National Iranian Oil Company, told Mehr Teheran was seeking "to gain at least 10 per cent of Japan’s market after the lifting of international sanction reaching a daily export of 350 thousand barrels per day to the East Asian country."
Japan is seen by Iran as one of the strategic and traditional markets for its crude in the past 40 years. According to statistics, Japan’s imports of Iranian crude oil in November 2015 increased by 3.1 per cent as compared with the same period last year.
Over the years of anti-Iranian sanctions, Japanese oil refineries decreased their capacity, which is seen by Iran as the biggest challenge to its plans to expand oil exports to Japan. However, according to Mehr, Japanese refineries are ready to put Iran as top priority in the post-sanction period as they were initially fitted to refine Iranian oil.
Despite the current surplus of from 1.5 to 2 million barrels a day on the oil markets, the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) is seeking to extend oil sale contracts with traditional costumers like China, Japan, South Korea, India and Turkey, Mehr said.